The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) considers the impact its projects will have on threatened and endangered species, which includes potential impacts to rare plants, animals, critical habitat, and unique natural communities (e.g., caves). Approximately 745 plant species and 515 animal species in the United States are federally listed as threatened or endangered (T&E). However, only 10 federally listed plants and 19 federally listed animals (in addition, there are 7 candidates for federal listing) are known to occur in Missouri.
Federal laws require the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and MoDOT to thoroughly address any potential impacts their projects might have on federally listed T&E species and eliminate or minimize those impacts. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) provides for the protection of threatened and endangered species, both plants and animals, and the habitats that are considered critical to the survival of these species, e.g., breeding, nesting, roosting, and foraging areas. The ESA additionally requires FHWA and MoDOT to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regarding their projects and measures that can be implemented to minimize or eliminate project impacts to these species. The USFWS is empowered as the chief administrative, regulatory, and enforcement agency regarding threatened and endangered species and their critical habitats.
MoDOT projects must also address potential impacts to state listed species. The State of Missouri also maintains endangered species legislation that protects these species. The state Endangered Species Act and the Missouri Wildlife Code protect state listed species. The Missouri Cave Resources Act protects caves from trespass, vandalism, contamination, and destruction. The Missouri Department of Conservation is the administrative, regulatory, and enforcement agency for state sensitive species. The state of also tracks the status of approximately 1,036 plant and animal species that are considered rare in the state. Of these, 67 are listed as state endangered.
What is an endangered species?
An endangered species is a species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
What is a threatened species?
A threatened species is a species that is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.
What is an endemic species?
An endemic species only occurs in a particular area. Species that are endemic to Missouri only occur in Missouri.
Eagle Nest Removal
MoDOT employees discovered a bald eagle nest with two adult birds and two nestlings along the proposed new alignment for U.S. Route 54 in Camden and Miller counties.
This project involves the removal of Eastern Hellbenders during the construction activities to replace an existing bridge in the Ozark region in southern Missouri.