First you must petition the Fish and Wildlife Services asserting that the speciesis under threat of extinction due to inadequate protection or threats from human activities. FWS will review the petition and decide whether adequate evidence has been presented, giving it a rating of not warranted, warrented, or warrented but precluded (essentially defers the process). If it is found warrented, the process is open for public review for one year, and within 6 months of that deadline, a final ruling is made. FWS can also start this same process on their own, without an outside petition.
Any person may petition the government to list a species as endangered or threatened. This process takes about 27 months.
Federal agencies follow a strict legal process called “rulemaking (or regulatory) procedure” so that the adopted regulations have the effect of a law and can apply to all persons and agencies under the jurisdiction of the United States.
The first step in this process is publishing “notices of review,” which identify species the agency thinks meet the definition of threatened or endangered. These species are considered “candidate” species at this point. The definition of an endangered species is one that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The definition of a threatened species is one that is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future.
Once it is determined whether the species meet the criteria of endangered or threatened, the species is then added to the list. Criteria: “the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of the species’ habitat or range; overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; disease or predation; other natural or manmade factors affecting the species’ survival.”
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