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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delists the Interior Least Tern from the Endangered Species Act. 

Effective February 12, 2021, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will delist the Interior Least Tern (ILT; Sternula antillarum) from the Endangered Species Act, (ESA) due to its population having met recovery goals. The delisting releases the ILT from ESA protections and applies to the entire range of the inland population.

What does this mean for you?

ILT will no longer require assessment or USFWS consultation as a listed ESA species, which could lead to the following project efficiencies:

  • Reduction in time and cost for ESA species analysis and consultation
  • Removal of ESA based ILT conservation measures on existing projects

The ILT will continue to be protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), state laws, and federal land management plans. As a result, it may still require National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis, state and federal permitting, or application of conservation measures.  

SWCA Can Help!

Our project managers and regulatory specialists can help you understand how the delisting will affect your project and what actions to take next if you currently have ESA based ILT conservation measures in place on your project. 

Have questions? Contact Amanda Aurora, at aaurora [at] swca [dot] com (aaurora[at]swca[dot]com) or 512.476.0891, or Jake Powell, at jpowell [at] swca [dot] com (jpowell[at]swca[dot]com) or 307.204.3309.