Endangered Species Act Critical Habitat

Metadata Updated: February 7, 2018

Critical habitat (CH) is designated for the survival and recovery of species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Critical habitat includes those areas occupied by the species, on which are found physical and biological features that are essential to the conservation of an ESA listed species and which may require special management considerations or protection. Critical habitat may also include unoccupied habitat if the Secretary determines that the unoccupied habitat is essential for the conservation of the species. Critical habitat is designated by regulation at the time a species is listed under the ESA unless it is not prudent to do so or it is not determinable at the time. If it is not determinable, then NMFS must designate CH no later than one year after publication of a final listing. After identifying areas that meet the definition of CH, NMFS conducts an analysis to determine whether the economic, national security, or other relevant impacts of designating some areas as CH outweigh the benefits to the species. If so, NMFS may exclude such areas from the final CH designation. Each proposed and final regulation is published in the Federal Register. The final CH designation is also published in the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR 226).

Access & Use Information

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Date October 7, 2011
Metadata Created Date February 7, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 7, 2018
Reference Date(s) January 1, 2011 (publication)
Frequency Of Update asNeeded

Metadata Source

Harvested from NOAA CSW Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date October 7, 2011
Metadata Created Date February 7, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 7, 2018
Reference Date(s) January 1, 2011 (publication)
Responsible Party NOAA Fisheries Headquarters (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Access Constraints Use Constraints: Users are advised that the spatial representation of critical habitat is for informational purposes only and should not be solely relied on for regulatory purposes, the textual definitions of critical habitat in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 50, Part 226 are ultimately determinative of the boundaries of critical habitat., Access Constraints: These data are publicly accessible and downloadable via http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/gis/data/critical.htm.
Bbox East Long 180.000000
Bbox North Lat 65.830103
Bbox South Lat 14.930000
Bbox West Long -180.000000
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update asNeeded
Harvest Object Id 19510b01-83ef-4d49-aaf7-1c4ab85f1f2c
Harvest Source Id 2aed8e29-fc5b-4cde-aa66-fb1118fd705e
Harvest Source Title NOAA CSW Harvest Source
Licence See access and use constraints information.
Metadata Language
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True
Temporal Extent Begin 1996-01-01
Temporal Extent End 2011-01-01

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