Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act
The act prohibits take, exportation and possession of threatened and endangered species, in addition to implementing recovery plans.
In order to prioritize the protection of at-risk species, the Nebraska Natural Legacy Project science team developed a two-tiered approach to identifying those species that may be at-risk of extinction or extirpation from the state. Tier I species are those that are globally or nationally at-risk, while Tier II species are those at-risk within Nebraska but apparently doing well in other parts of their range. The Tier I list includes species that are currently state or federally listed as well as those that may be headed for listing as Threatened or Endangered and therefore, prioritized before Tier II species.
The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project works to prevent the imperilment of species and the need for listing in the first place. The project’s secondary goal is to recover currently listed species to allow for their delisting.
Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act
Endangered and threatened species, a subset of at-risk species, are animals and plants whose continued existence in Nebraska is in jeopardy. By officially designating a species as endangered or threatened, plans can be put in place to restore the species or to prevent extirpation or extinction.
Once a species is listed as endangered, a state law called the Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act (section 37-806) automatically prohibits its take, exportation and possession, and imposes severe penalties on violators. Every year, more than 1,000 proposed projects that would be authorized, funded or carried out by state agencies are reviewed to prevent a state action from jeopardizing the existence of an endangered or threatened species.
State recovery plans for endangered or threatened species are implemented on a priority basis, addressing species that are in the most immediate danger, whose life requirements are best known and those which offer the best opportunity for success first. A variety of wildlife management techniques are used, including reintroduction, captive propagation, protection of habitat through various forms of acquisition, habitat manipulation and development, public education and strict legal protection.
Threatened and endangered species
Nebraska has 30 threatened and endangered species. Visit the following link to learn more.
The mission of the Nebraska Natural Heritage Program is to develop, manage and distribute scientific information critical to the conservation of Nebraska’s biological diversity. It is the only comprehensive source of information on the status and locations of Nebraska’s rarest and most threatened species and natural communities. Follow the link below to learn more.
Examples of efforts focused on Nebraska’s endangered and threatened species include:
- The endangered river otter is rebounding in Nebraska after being extirpated in the state. More than 100 otters captured in other states and Canadian provinces have been transported to Nebraska and released into major river drainages, where they have again begun to flourish.
- Nesting colonies of the endangered least tern and threatened piping plover are documented and monitored to determine reproductive success and essential nesting habitat. Data is used to identify management practices necessary for restoration of the two species. River sandbars have been cleared of vegetation to provide suitable nesting habitat. Nesting colonies susceptible to human disturbance are posted with signs to prevent intrusions.
- Whooping crane migration stopover sites are being documented and monitored so that threatened, essential habitat can be protected.
- Research on the swift fox, blowout penstemon, least tern and mountain plover, conducted by universities under contract with the Game and Parks Commission, has identified factors limiting the survival of these species, which has helped determine how the species can be restored or how further population declines can be prevented. For example, the endangered blowout penstemon has been propagated in University of Nebraska greenhouses and successfully transplanted to suitable habitat in the Nebraska Sandhills.
About Nebraska Game & Parks
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