Endangered Species & Construction
An endangered species is any species that is at risk of extinction because of a sudden rapid decrease in its population or a loss of its critical habitat. Loss of habitat and loss of genetic variation leave these species vulnerable. A threated species is any species generally believed to become endangered within all or much of its range in the near future. In Illinois, the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Act (520 ILSC 10/) was enacted to help protect those species of plants and animals native to Illinois which are in danger of being lost from the wild in the state.
Using the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Ecological Compliance Assessment Tool (EcoCAT), state and local government agencies, or project proponents seeking authorization or funding from such agencies, can fulfill their obligations to consult with the IDNR on potential impacts to state listed species and other state protected natural resources, such as state designated natural areas. The IDNR’s Impact Assessment Section processes over 12,000 consultation requests per year. Through the EcoCAT consultation process, the IDNR works closely and proactively with agencies and project proponents to avoid and minimize impacts to these rare species and habitats and help ensure violations of the statutes do not occur. More information about EcoCAT consultation can be found here: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/programs/EcoCAT/Pages/default.aspx
More information about state listed species can be found here: Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board More Information about IDNR endangered species permits and scientific research permits can be found here: IDNR: Endangered and Threatened Species
Some state listed species which occur in Illinois may also be federally listed and require additional consultation or permitting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service depending on project scope and if the project has a federal nexus. Section 10 of the Federal Endangered Species Act regulates a range of activities that affect federally endangered or threatened plants and animals. The Act prohibits activities affecting these protected species and their habitats unless authorized by a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Permitted activities must be designed to be consistent with the conservation of the species. According to the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, examples of activities that may require an Incidental Take Permit include, but are not limited to: construction and/or development activities or in-stream or watershed activities that may impact listed species. For more information on how to consider federally listed species with your project, visit the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Endangered Species page.