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In 1973, Indiana passed the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act (IC 14-22-34) which charges the Wildlife Diversity Program (WDP) with the management and conservation of nongame and endangered species. A nongame species is “any wild mammal, bird, amphibian, reptile, fish, mollusk, crustacean, or other wild animal” that is not hunted or trapped for sport or commercial use. The WDP gained footing in 1982 when the state established the Nongame Fund to support the program’s efforts.
State Endangered: Any animal species whose prospects for survival or recruitment within the state are in immediate jeopardy and are in danger of disappearing from the state. This includes all species classified as endangered by the federal government that occur in Indiana.
Special Concern: Any animal species requiring monitoring because of known/suspected limited abundance or distribution or because of a recent change in legal status or required habitat. These species do not receive legal protection under the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act.
The United States Congress passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973, which charges the federal government with the protection of plant and animal species that are likely to become extinct or endangered in all or a significant part of their range. The United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) oversees the management of all terrestrial animals, plants, freshwater fish, and freshwater mollusks. When a species is being considered as a candidate under the ESA, the USFWS compiles data, in part, from state biologists. The Wildlife Diversity Program in Indiana is responsible for surveying and monitoring the status of Indiana’s nongame mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and mollusks. It works closely with the USFWS, as well as other state agencies and universities, to protect those species in greatest need of conservation.
Federally Endangered: Any species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
Federally Threatened: Any species that is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
Federal Candidate: These species have been submitted for review for protection under the Federal Endangered Species Act. If added to the federal list, they will automatically be considered a state endangered species.