Threatened and Endangered Species

Protected Under the California Endangered Species Act

large-flowered fiddleneck plant

State and Federally Endangered Large-Flowered Fiddleneck (Amsinckia grandiflora)

California tiger salamander adult

State and Federally Threatened California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense)

Tricolored black bird

State Threatened Tricolored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor)

Swainson's Hawk

State Threatened Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)

Blennosperma nanum

State Rare Point Reyes Blennosperma (Blennosperma nanum var. robustum)

Giant Garter Snake

State and Federally Threatened Giant Garter Snake (Thamnophis gigas)

The California Endangered Species Act (CESA)(opens in new tab) is a California environmental law that conserves and protects plant and animal species at risk of extinction. Originally enacted in 1970, CESA was repealed and replaced by an updated version in 1984 and amended in 1997. Plant and animal species may be designated threatened or endangered under CESA after a formal listing process by the California Fish and Game Commission(opens in new tab). Approximately 250 species are currently listed under CESA. A CESA-listed species, or any part or product of the plant or animal, may not be imported into the state, exported out of the state, “taken” (i.e., killed), possessed, purchased, or sold without proper authorization. Implementation of CESA has reduced and avoided impacts to California’s most imperiled plants and animals, has protected hundreds of thousands of acres of vital habitat, and has led to a greater scientific understanding of California’s incredible biodiversity.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) works with agencies, organizations, and other interested persons to study, protect, and preserve CESA-listed species and their habitats. CDFW also conducts scientific reviews of species petitioned for listing under CESA, administers regulatory permitting programs to authorize take of listed species, maintains an extensive database of listed species occurrences, and conducts periodic reviews of listed species to determine if the conditions that led to original listing are still present.

California’s Threatened and Endangered Species