The California Endangered Species Act (CESA) 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. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will work with all interested persons, agencies and organizations to protect and preserve such sensitive resources and their habitats.
CESA prohibits the take of any species of wildlife designated by the California Fish and Game Commission as endangered, threatened, or candidate species. CDFW may authorize the take of any such species if certain conditions are met.
Types of Permits
Section 2081 subdivision (b) of the Fish and Game Code allows CDFW to authorize take of species listed as endangered, threatened, candidate, or a rare plant, if that take is incidental to otherwise lawful activities and if certain conditions are met. These authorizations are commonly referred to as incidental take permits (ITPs).
If a species is listed by both the federal Endangered Species Act and CESA, Fish and Game Code section 2080.1 allows an applicant who has obtained a federal incidental take statement (federal Section 7 consultation) or a federal incidental take permit (federal Section 10(a)(1)(B)) to request that the Director of CDFW find the federal documents consistent with CESA. If the federal documents are found to be consistent with CESA, a consistency determination (CD) is issued and no further authorization or approval is necessary under CESA.
A Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA) authorizes incidental take of a species listed as endangered, threatened, candidate, or a rare plant, if implementation of the agreement is reasonably expected to provide a net conservation benefit to the species, among other provisions. SHAs are intended to encourage landowners to voluntarily manage their lands to benefit CESA-listed species. California SHAs are analogous to the federal safe harbor agreement program and CDFW has the authority to issue a consistency determination based on a federal safe harbor agreement.