Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA)
The California Endangered Species Act (CESA) 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 Originally enacted in 1970, CESA was repealed and replaced by an updated version in 1984 and amended in 1997.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. 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.