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Laws Relating to Endangered Species

Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543)

The purpose of the Endangered Species Act is simple — to prevent America's native fish, plants and wildlife from going extinct. To date, the Endangered Species Act has been 99 percent successful in achieving this goal of preventing extinctions.

Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668C)

This Act makes it illegal to import, export, or take bald or golden eagles, or to sell, purchase, or barter their parts, or products made from them, including their nests or eggs.

Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-712)

Except as allowed by implementing regulations, this Act makes it unlawful to pursue, hunt, kill, capture, possess, buy, sell, purchase, or barter any migratory bird, including the feathers or other parts, nests, eggs, or migratory bird products.

Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42; 16 U.S.C. 3371-3378)

This Act provides authority to the Secretary of the Interior to designate injurious wildlife and ensure the humane treatment of wildlife shipped to the United States. Further, it prohibits the importation, exportation, transportation, sale, or purchase of fish and wildlife taken or possessed in violation of State, Federal, Indian tribal, and foreign laws. The Amendments strengthen and improve the enforcement of Federal wildlife laws and improve Federal assistance to the States and foreign governments in the enforcement of their wildlife laws. Also, the act provides an important tool in the effort to gain control of smuggling and trade in illegally taken fish and wildlife.

Marine Mammal Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 1361-1407)

This Act establishes a moratorium on the taking and importation of marine mammals, including parts and products, and defines Federal responsibility for conservation of marine mammals, with management authority vested in the Department of the Interior for the sea otter, walrus, polar bear, dugong, and manatee.

Airborne Hunting Act (16 U.S.C. 742j-1)

Section 13 of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 is commonly referred to as the Airborne Hunting Act, or Shooting From Aircraft Act, and prohibits taking or harassing wildlife from aircraft, except when protecting wildlife, livestock, and human health or safety, as authorized by a Federal- or State-issued license or permit.

National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee)

This Act constitutes an "Organic Act" for the National Wildlife Refuge System by providing guidelines and directives for administration and management of all areas in the system including "wildlife refuges, areas for the protection and conservation of fish and wildlife that are threatened with extinction, wildlife ranges, game ranges, wildlife management areas, or waterfowl production areas."

Antarctic Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 2401-2413)

The purpose of the Act is to provide for the conservation and protection of the fauna and flora of Antarctica and of the ecosystem upon which such fauna and flora depend. The primary prohibitions of the Act make it unlawful for any United States citizen to take any native bird or mammal in Antarctica or to collect any native plant from any specially protected area within Antarctica. In addition, the Act makes it unlawful for any United States citizen or any foreign person in the United States to possess, sell, offer for sale, deliver, receive, carry, transport, import, export, or attempt to import or export from the United States any native mammal or bird taken in Antarctica or any plant collected in any specially protected area.

African Elephant Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 4201-4245)

The purpose of the Act is to provide additional protection for the African elephant. The Act establishes an assistance program to elephant producing countries of Africa and provides for the establishment of an African Elephant Conservation Fund. In addition, the Act places a moratorium on the importation of raw or worked ivory from African elephant producing countries that do not meet certain criteria found in the Act.

Wild Exotic Bird Conservation Act of 1992 (16 U.S.C. 4901-4916)

The act promotes the conservation of exotic birds by encouraging wild bird conservation and management programs in countries of origin; by ensuring that all trade in such species involving the United States is biologically sustainable and to the benefit of the species; and by limiting or prohibiting imports of exotic birds when necessary to ensure that exotic wild populations are harmed by removal for the trade.

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