Concept

Critical habitat

Summary
Critical habitat is a habitat area essential to the conservation of a listed species, though the area need not actually be occupied by the species at the time it is designated. This is a specific term and designation within the U.S. Endangered Species Act-ESA. Contrary to common belief, designating an area as critical habitat does not preclude that area from development. Rather, a critical habitat designation affects only federal agency actions. Such actions include federally funded activities or activities requiring a federal permit. Designation process Critical habitat must be designated for all threatened species and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, with certain specified exceptions. Designations of critical habitats must be based on the best scientific information available and in an open public process within specific timeframes. Unless deemed necessary for the species' continued existence, critical habitat does not include the entire geographical a
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