ISSUED: 11-90
Prepared by Monte P. Johnson 1 and Thomas Barnes 2
1 Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky
2 Forestry Department, University of Kentucky

This publication is designed to help landowners, land managers, planners and developers understand the Federal Endangered Species Act so they can plan, design and implement farming, land development or other practices in harmony with the environment.
Animals or plants are classified as endangered if they face extinction throughout all or a large part of their range. Plants or animals are classified as threatened if they are likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. Only a few animals and plants in Kentucky are endangered. Several animals, like the white-tailed deer, are more abundant today than at any other time during history.
Animals and plants can be abundant, common, rare, threatened or endangered in different parts of their ranges. For example, the American alligator has been classified as endangered or threatened in some areas, whereas in other areas it is abundant and may be legally harvested under the supervision of the state wildlife agency. The number and types of animals and plants listed as threatened or endangered changes constantly because new species are added or others are deleted. Unfortunately, species are usually removed from the list because they have become extinct. The list provided in this publication is subject to change. The most current information on endangered and threatened species in your area may be obtained by contacting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission or the Cooperative Extension Service.

Why Protect Endangered and Threatened Species?
A primary reason for establishing laws to maintain rare plant and animal species is that our life support system depends on animals and plants. Most species cannot live in all types of habitats (environments). Each has to have some specific qualifications before it can occupy a given habitat. Ecologically speaking, each has a special position or role that it plays in relation to other animals and plants which is called a "niche". This is why it is so difficult to move some species from one habitat to another. The specific "niche" which they would fit into may already be occupied by another species, and/or specific qualifications needed cannot be met by the new habitat. We cannot predict what losing one species will do to the ecological balance of nature and our life support systems. Endangered species then act as important environmental barometers warning us that ecosystems may be unhealthy.
There are many other reasons for saving endangered species. All of our domesticated plant and animal species -- including corn, rice, beans and peas -- came from wild ancestors. Genetic material from these unique living things is now used to revitalize species that have been domesticated for centuries. It is very important to preserve this genetic diversity for these present uses as well as for unseen future applications. Each year, new species of plants and animals are discovered, cultivated, harvested or raised for human use. In addition, new uses of obscure plants and animals are discovered as we understand more about life processes.
Other practical reasons for saving endangered and threatened species are the unique biochemical secrets contained in a plant or animal. These chemical or genetic factories have given us over half our modern medicines that treat numerous ailments. When a species becomes extinct, its particular biochemical information is lost forever.
In addition to practical reasons for maintaining rare species, many people believe there are ethical and moral reasons for maintaining endangered and threatened species. Once, land ownership had strictly economic objectives with privileges but no obligations. Today, an increasing number of citizens and landowners believe it is the landowner's obligation to be a good steward of the land. In this sense, the "land" means the entire living community of animals, plants, soils and water. A landowner or land manager makes decisions critical to the fate of living things that are considered common property of us all. In addition, most endangered species were forced into their precarious position because of our activities on the land. Because we are responsible for increased species endangerment, we should also be responsible for species preservation for future generations. Thus federal and state laws have been enacted to protect endangered and threatened species and their habitats.

The Endangered Species Act
Congress passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973 and amended it in 1988. The ESA protects and conserves animals, plants and their habitats that are threatened or in danger of becoming extinct throughout all or a significant portion of their range. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is mandated to protect endangered and threatened species. The ESA established the lengthy, comprehensive process used to identify and classify species that are endangered or threatened.

The ESA requires that a plan be developed to:
actively conserve endangered species which provides for site-specific management actions to achieve their survival;
allow species to be removed from the list when objective, measurable criteria are met; and
estimate financial costs and time required to meet those goals.
The law requires that the "critical habitat" the species needs to survive be protected.
The intent of the ESA has never been to stop construction projects, farming, forestry or other projects. Rather, it seeks to ensure that measures safeguarding endangered and threatened species and their habitats are included in project design, construction and operation.
Each federal agency, such as the Department of Agriculture or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ensures that their activities are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or result in any severe modification or destruction of their habitat. The EPA is responsible for regulating the use of pesticides. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for providing biological opinions upon the interactions of specific pesticides and endangered species at risk. Because some pesticides may harm such species, EPA has been developing an Endangered Species Protection Program (ESPP) to protect vulnerable species and their habitats from the effects of pesticides. EPA began developing this program in 1982 and published their initial proposal in 1987 and in 1988. The proposal has since undergone revision and now concentrates on providing the best protection for threatened and endangered species by focusing on the species themselves. To minimize impacts on pesticide users, EPA will evaluate pesticides with emphasis on lower application rates as opposed to complete prohibition of use.
Endangered and threatened species in Kentucky most likely to be affected by pesticide use include bats, mussels, Mammoth cave shrimp, red-cockaded woodpeckers and plants. Adverse pesticide use can affect these species for several reasons, thus precautions should be taken when spraying pesticides. An example would be the hazard of pesticides contaminating streams which are the homes to mussels. These organisms are filter-feeders which require clean, free-flowing water to survive. Pesticide runoff into these streams may either directly kill the mussels or indirectly affect them by contaminating their food supply.
Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, amended in 1988, states that it is unlawful for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to "take any endangered species within the United States. Any person who knowingly violates this provision under section 11 of the Endangered Species Act ( 1 ) may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each violation or imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both; ( 2 ) upon conviction of a criminal violation, shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both."
"Take" is defined as to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect, or attempt to engage in such conduct.
Regulations define "harass" as an intentional or negligent act or omission which creates the likelihood of injury to wildlife by annoying it to such an extent as to significantly disrupt normal behavioral patterns which include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding or sheltering.
Regulations define "harm" as an act which actually kills or injures wildlife. Such act may include significant habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding or sheltering.
Pesticide misapplications may be considered either harassing or harming wildlife in the context of these definitions.

Provisions of the Endangered Species Protection Program
1. Labels and Bulletins -- Genetic label statements instruct pesticide users to consult county bulletins for use limitations. Bulletins will be updated annually, if needed. (Note: County bulletins currently are not available.)
2. State Involvement- Some states are developing their own endangered species protection programs; others are developing education and training programs and maps which define affected habitats.
3. Pilots -- Pilot ( interim ) programs will evaluate the feasibility of the program and determine the best methods for distributing information and gaining cooperation.
4. Timing -- When implementing enforceable measures to protect listed species from pesticides, the EPA will issue Pesticide Registration (PR) Notices to the registrants of effected pesticide products to modify their products' labeling.
5. Exemption of Public Health Emergencies -- The program also provides for an exemption for indoor uses in the case of a public health emergency where expeditious control of disease vectors, such as mosquitoes and fleas, is required.

Kentucky's Endangered and Threatened Species List*
Common Name Scientific Name Federal Status
Mammoth Cave Shrimp Palaemonias ganteri Endangered
Fanshell Cyprogenia stegaria Endangered 
Catspaw Epioblasma obliquata obliquata Endangered 
Ring Pink Obovaria retusa Endangered 
Pink Mucket Lampsilis abrupta Endangered 
Little-wing Pearlymussel Pegias fabula Endangered 
Orange-foot Pimpleback Plethobasus cooperianus Endangered 
Rough Pigtoe Pleurobema plenum Endangered 
Fat Pocketbook Potamilus capax Endangered 
Cumberland Bean Mussel Villosa trabalis Endangered 
Northern Riffleshell Epioblasma tarulosa rangiana Endangered
Clubshell Pleurobema clava Endangered
Blackside Dace Phoxinus cumberlandensis Threatened 
Palezone Shiner Notropis sp. Endangered
Pallid Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus Endangered
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus Endangered 
Red-cockaded Woodpecker Picoides borealis Endangered 
Interior Least Tern Sterna antillarum athalassos Endangered 
Gray Myotis (bat) Myotis grisescens Endangered 
Indiana Myotis (bat) Myotis sodalis Endangered 
Virginia Big-eared Bat Plecotus townsendii virginianus Endangered 
American Burying Beetle Nicrophorus americanus Endangered
Price's Potato-bean Apios priceana Threatened 
Cumberland Sandwort Minvartia cumberlandensis Endangered 
Cumberland Rosemary Conradina verticillata Threatened 
White-haired Goldenrod Solidago albopilosa Threatened 
Short's Goldenrod Solidago shortii Endangered 
Virginia Spiraea Spiraea virginiana Threatened 
Running Buffalo Clover Trifolium stoloniferum Endangered 
Chaffseed Schwalbea americana Endangered
*Source: Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Photographs courtesy of Mr. John MacGregor, U.S. Forest Service, U.S.D.A. Berea, Kentucky.

Special thanks to the following people who reviewed draft manuscripts: R. R. Hannan, Director, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission; J. R. MacGregor, U.S. Forest Service, Berea, Kentucky; and L H. Townsend, Pesticide Applicator Training Coordinator, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky.

Additional Extension educational materials available:
VIDEOTAPES -- Applying Pesticides Correctly: The Label is Your Guide -- 20-minute videotape (video number V7ASC-03161 )
PUBLICATIONS -- Understanding Pesticide LabeLs and Labeling, ID -- 100
Kentucky's Pesticide Applicator Training & Certification Program, PAT-2
Protecting Kentucky's Groundwater: A Grower's Guide, IP-13