For the purposes of this chapter -
(1) The term "alternative courses of action" means all
alternatives and thus is not limited to original project
objectives and agency jurisdiction.
(2) The term "commercial activity" means all activities of
industry and trade, including, but not limited to, the buying or
selling of commodities and activities conducted for the purpose
of facilitating such buying and selling: Provided, however, That
it does not include exhibition of commodities by museums or
similar cultural or historical organizations.
(3) The terms "conserve", "conserving", and "conservation" mean
to use and the use of all methods and procedures which are
necessary to bring any endangered species or threatened species
to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to this
chapter are no longer necessary. Such methods and procedures
include, but are not limited to, all activities associated with
scientific resources management such as research, census, law
enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, propagation,
live trapping, and transplantation, and, in the extraordinary
case where population pressures within a given ecosystem cannot
be otherwise relieved, may include regulated taking.
(4) The term "Convention" means the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, signed on
March 3, 1973, and the appendices thereto.
(5)(A) The term "critical habitat" for a threatened or
endangered species means -
(i) the specific areas within the geographical area occupied
by the species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the
provisions of section 1533 of this title, on which are found
those physical or biological features (I) essential to the
conservation of the species and (II) which may require special
management considerations or protection; and
(ii) specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by
the species at the time it is listed in accordance with the
provisions of section 1533 of this title, upon a determination
by the Secretary that such areas are essential for the
conservation of the species.
(B) Critical habitat may be established for those species now
listed as threatened or endangered species for which no critical
habitat has heretofore been established as set forth in
subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.
(C) Except in those circumstances determined by the Secretary,
critical habitat shall not include the entire geographical area
which can be occupied by the threatened or endangered species.
(6) The term "endangered species" means any species which is in
danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of
its range other than a species of the Class Insecta determined by
the Secretary to constitute a pest whose protection under the
provisions of this chapter would present an overwhelming and
overriding risk to man.
(7) The term "Federal agency" means any department, agency, or
instrumentality of the United States.
(8) The term "fish or wildlife" means any member of the animal
kingdom, including without limitation any mammal, fish, bird
(including any migratory, nonmigratory, or endangered bird for
which protection is also afforded by treaty or other
international agreement), amphibian, reptile, mollusk,
crustacean, arthropod or other invertebrate, and includes any
part, product, egg, or offspring thereof, or the dead body or
(9) The term "foreign commerce" includes, among other things,
any transaction -
(A) between persons within one foreign country;
(B) between persons in two or more foreign countries;
(C) between a person within the United States and a person in
a foreign country; or
(D) between persons within the United States, where the fish
and wildlife in question are moving in any country or countries
outside the United States.
(10) The term "import" means to land on, bring into, or
introduce into, or attempt to land on, bring into, or introduce
into, any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,
whether or not such landing, bringing, or introduction
constitutes an importation within the meaning of the customs laws
of the United States.
(11) Repealed. Pub. L. 97-304, Sec. 4(b), Oct. 13, 1982, 96
(12) The term "permit or license applicant" means, when used
with respect to an action of a Federal agency for which exemption
is sought under section 1536 of this title, any person whose
application to such agency for a permit or license has been
denied primarily because of the application of section 1536(a) of
this title to such agency action.
(13) The term "person" means an individual, corporation,
partnership, trust, association, or any other private entity; or
any officer, employee, agent, department, or instrumentality of
the Federal Government, of any State, municipality, or political
subdivision of a State, or of any foreign government; any State,
municipality, or political subdivision of a State; or any other
entity subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
(14) The term "plant" means any member of the plant kingdom,
including seeds, roots and other parts thereof.
(15) The term "Secretary" means, except as otherwise herein
provided, the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of
Commerce as program responsibilities are vested pursuant to the
provisions of Reorganization Plan Numbered 4 of 1970; except that
with respect to the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter
and the Convention which pertain to the importation or
exportation of terrestrial plants, the term also means the
Secretary of Agriculture.
(16) The term "species" includes any subspecies of fish or
wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any
species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when
(17) The term "State" means any of the several States, the
District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American
Samoa, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Trust Territory of the
(18) The term "State agency" means any State agency,
department, board, commission, or other governmental entity which
is responsible for the management and conservation of fish,
plant, or wildlife resources within a State.
(19) The term "take" means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt,
shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to
engage in any such conduct.
(20) The term "threatened species" means any species which is
likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable
future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
(21) The term "United States", when used in a geographical
context, includes all States.