California Department of Fish and Wildlife

State Laws, Regulations and Policy for the Incidental Take of State Listed Species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA)

Section 2080 of the Fish and Game Code prohibits "take" of any species that the commission determines to be an endangered species or a threatened species. Take is defined in Section 86 of the Fish and Game Code as "hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill."

CESA allows for take incidental to otherwise lawful development projects. CESA emphasizes early consultation to avoid potential impacts to rare, endangered, and threatened species and to develop appropriate mitigation planning to offset project caused losses of listed species populations and their essential habitats.

When CDFW proposes to undertake a project that has the potential for take of a state-listed species, if the project is part of the management of that species, i.e., for the protection, propagation, or enhancement of the species and its habitat, CDFW is not required to get a CESA Incidental Take Permit per California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 783.1. However, CDFW is still required to complete its obligations under CEQA and prepare a Negative Declaration or an EIR, as appropriate, for the proposed project. If take of a state-listed species is likely to occur, an EIR (or an equivalent CEQA document) will be prepared.

Through permits or memorandums of understanding, CDFW also may authorize individuals, public agencies, universities, zoological gardens, and scientific or educational institutions, to import, export, take, or possess any endangered species, threatened species, or candidate species of plants and animals for scientific, educational, or management purposes. (See Fish and Game Code Section 2081(a), and Scientific Collecting Permits and Memorandums of Understanding for further explanation of the requirements for plants.)

Law enacting CESA (Fish and Game Code, Sections 2050 et seq.):

For information on the current regulations implementing CESA, see Sections 783-783.8 and 786.0 - 786.8 of the California Code of Regulations, Title 14 (must use Internet Explorer to access).