AFA Conservation
The U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1972 (ESA)

Update - Military Macaw and Buffon's Macaw added to US ESA

Update - Cockatoo Species added to US ESA


The United States Endangered Species Act (ESA)

Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, the ESA was designed to protect critically endangered species from extinction. This act was one of many wildlife laws enacted in the 1970’s. The U.S. was experiencing a huge growth spurt and many species were threatened by development and expansion into their habitats.

Recap of Requirements for any listed Species:

  • Any sale or barter (raffles, auctions, uneven trades) across a State line requires a federal permit
  • Possession or breeding of legally acquired birds (Within your State) does not require a federal permit
  • Even trades of like offspring across a State line does not require a federal permit
  • Sales within a State does not require a Federal permit
  • Advertising listed species “nationally” for sale requires the words “Federal permit required” in the advertisement

What Does the ESA Mean to Aviculturists?

Under the act, there are provisions that allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create lists of species in need of protection due to trade in that species, and/or threats to its habitat. Once listed, a species cannot be imported into the U.S., exported from the U.S., or sold from one state to another without specific permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (federal).

Breeders or fanciers that live in the U.S. and possess a listed species do not need a permit for legally acquired birds unless they plan to sell or barter with the species across a state line. If a sale or barter is to be made, there are two types of permits that would allow such an activity: an Interstate Commerce Permit, or a Captive-bred Wildlife Permit. Even trades of like offspring across a state line do not require a permit. Breeders making even trades should include a letter on shipments of listed species explaining the details of the transaction.

Permit Contact: Dept. Of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Management Authority, 4401 N. Fairfax Dr. Room 212, Arlington, VA 22203 of Call: 703-358-2104

Exotic Species Listed under the ESA as of August 2011:

(For complete list see; several cockatoos species have been proposed and may be listed in the very near future)

Parakeets and Conures:

Blue-throated Conure (Pyrrhura cruentata)
Golden Conure (Aratinga, or Guaruba guaruba)
Golden-shouldered Parakeet (Psephotus chrysopterygius)
Hooded parakeet (Psephotus disimilus)
*Scarlet-chested Parakeet (Neophema splendida)
*Turquoise Parakeet (Neophema pulchella)

Parrots and Others:

Bali “Rothschild’s” Mynah (Leucopsar rothschildi)
Cuban Amazon (Amazona leucocephala)
Imperial Amazon (Amazona imperialis)
Lear’s Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari)
*Moluccan Cockatoo (Cacatua molucensis)
Red-browed Amazon (Amazona rhodocorytha)
Red-capped Parrot (Pionopsitta pileata)
Red-necked Amazon (Amazona arausiaca)
Red Siskin “finch” (Carduelis cucullata)
Red-spectacled Amazon (Amazona petrei)
Red-tailed Amazon (Amazona brasiliensis)
St. Vincent’s Amazon (Amazona guildingii)
Thick-billed Parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha)
Vinaceous Amazon (Amazona vinacea)

*NOTE: although still listed under the ESA, these species no longer require a federal permit for sales and Interstate commerce. However, the State of New Mexico has a State permit requirement to breed, sell, and import them into the State of NM.

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