What is the endangered species act?
The Endangered Species Act is a series of environmental protection laws passed by the United States Congress in 1973, and signed by President Richard Nixon. It was created to protect "critically imperiled" species populations from extinction, along with the ecosystems they live, and breed in.
This includes invertebrates, and vertebrates, along with plants, although fungi were not named specifically because they were considered a plant during the time the laws were being written.
These new laws were called for by President Richard Nixon, due to the rapid, and varied growth in economics, and technology, along with uncontrolled development, and expansion with little to no regard, or concern for the future of the environment and the creatures living in it. With this "act", Federal Agencies were strictly limited, or completely forbidden from actions that might "jeopardize the continued existence of" those species listed as endangered or threatened.
Also there would be no funding, authorizing, or carrying out any actions which might be deemed as threatening, such as; physically harming, harassing, killing, removing, or trapping, those species which are listed on the ESA list, by any governmental agency, corporation, or citizen without a complete permit.
Many protections apply to the species' habitats, including appointing "critical habitat" as reserves designated specifically for recovery and research for listed species.
The US Fish and Wildlife Services or US FWS, along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA are the administrative bodies of the Endangered Species Act or the ESA.
For more details, please see the sites listed below.