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Endangered Species Act
Endangered Species Act
​​​​​​​​​A federal and state threatened greenback cutthroat trout is released.

Learn About our Guiding Principles​​ and Influencing Factors​

Principles for Advancing Outdoor Recreation and Conservation


The federal Endangered Species Act is designed for the conservation of species that are “endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of their range, and the conservation of the ecosystems on which they depend.” 

What is the Endangered Species Act?

The Endangered Species Act was signed into law by President Nixon in 1973. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service, it aims to protect and recover at-risk species and the habitats they rely upon. ​

 Additional information can be found on the USFWS's Endangered Species​ pages. 

Who is involved?

The federal government partners with states and private landowners to develop and implement plans for the over 2,000 species now included on the list.


Why is the Endangered Species Act important?

An American peregrine falcon. Peregrine falcons are a species of concern in Colorado. Photo courtsey of USFWS.The primary goal of the Endangered Species Act is to make species' populations healthy and vital so they can be delisted from the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service actively invest time and resources to bringing endangered or threatened species back from the brink of extinction. The act legally protects these species through various methods, like regulations and restrictions on land use or hunting activities. 

  • Endangered Species - species that are likely to become extinct throughout all or a large portion of their range.

  • Threatened Species - species that are likely to become endangered in the near future.

  • Critical habitat - vital to the survival of endangered or threatened species.

How does Colorado Parks and Wildlife keep species off the ESA?

Threatened and Endangered Species are of the utmost importance. These valuable resources are slowly disappearing and State Parks Stewardship is one area dedicated to preserving the crucial habitat that these animals call home. CPW strives to take proactive measures to keep species populations healthy enough not to need this legal protection.  The agency works closely with private landowners, county governments, non-governmental organizations (non-profits) and others to protect and improve habitat, conduct research and work collaboratively to promote species productivity. 


​How Can You Help?

Find ideas of how you can make a difference. Every action, no matter how small, can make a positive impact. See Your Help.​

​Take A Closer Look

Did you know that each state has it’s own endangered and threatened species list, separate from federal designations? Check out the species we’re keeping close tabs on in Colorado.