There are over 1,200 species listed as either endangered or threatened in the United States under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), in the Department of the Interior, and NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries Service), in the Department of Commerce, share responsibility for administration of the ESA. These responsibilities include listing and delisting species, designating critical habitat, and formulating recovery plans.
NOAA Fisheries Service manages mostly marine and anadromous fish species, and the FWS manages the remainder of the listed species, mostly terrestrial and freshwater species. Anadromous fish are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean to grow into adults, and then return to fresh water to spawn. Marine fish spend their entire life in salt water. Through the Listing Program, FWS and NOAA Fisheries Service determine whether to add a species to the Federal lists of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. Once listed, a species is afforded the full range of protections available under the ESA, including prohibitions on killing, harming, or otherwise "taking" a species.
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs has a number of species-based Fact Sheets that offer a summary of certain listed species, including their description, ecology, and concerns. These are found in conjunction with Endangered Species Protection Bulletins for specific counties. You can also access the entire collection of EPA’s Species Fact Sheets.
To learn more about how FWS and NOAA Fisheries Service protect endangered species, please visit their Web sites: