Threatened and Endangered Species

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).  There are hundreds of plant and animal species in the United States that are federally listed as threatened or endangered (T&E)Missouri has approximately 45 federally-listed plant and animal species, though this number is subject to change as species’ population numbers continue to decline and more species are listed as threatened or endangered; the most current information on listed species can be found on the USFWS website. 

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 and the habitats that are considered critical to the survival of these species, e.g., breeding, nesting, roosting, and foraging areas.  Additionally, the ESA 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 and species of conservation concern.  The State of Missouri maintains endangered species legislation that protects these species.  [The Revised Statutes of Missouri, RSMo Section 252.240 (Missouri Revisor of Statutes - Revised Statutes of Missouri, RSMo Section 252.240) and the Missouri Wildlife Code (Wildlife Code of Missouri | Missouri Department of Conservation (].  The Missouri Department of Conservation is the administrative, regulatory, and enforcement agency for these species.  

Caves can provide habitat for sensitive species, including those that are federally or state protected.  Missouri State Statutes protect caves from trespass, vandalism, contamination, and destruction.  [RSMo Section 539.135 (Missouri Revisor of Statutes - Revised Statutes of Missouri, RSMo Section 569.135) and 569.137 (Missouri Revisor of Statutes - Revised Statutes of Missouri, RSMo Section 569.137)].

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. 

Hellbender Removal

This project involves the removal of Eastern Hellbenders during the construction activities to replace an existing bridge in the Ozark region in southern Missouri.