California Endangered Species Act
The California Legislature was the first in the country to protect rare plants and animals through passage of the California Endangered Species Act in 1970, (Congress followed suit in 1973 by passing the federal ESA. See also the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES).
The California ESA states that, “all native species of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, invertebrates, and plants, and their habitats, threatened with extinction and those experiencing a significant decline which, if not halted, would lead to a threatened or endangered designation,will be protected or preserved.”
In California, the Department of Fish and Wildlife (formerly Fish and Game) oversees California’s ESA in collaboration with other organizations and agencies. As part of this, Fish and Wildlife serves in an advisory role to help offset potentially adverse impacts to rare, endangered, and threatened species
California’s endangered species include Chinook and Coho salmon. In the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta, the California ESA has been invoked to protect the Delta Smelt. Click here for a list of California’s threatened and endangered species.
According to the California Resources Agency, the California Endangered Species Act “generally parallels the main provisions of the Federal Endangered Species Act and is administered by the California Department of Fish and [Wildlife]. “