Environmental Protection

Threatened & Endangered Species Reviews

Michigan’s threatened and endangered (T&E) species are protected under Part 365 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Michigan Public Acts of 1994. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) is the state agency responsible for protecting state listed species in Michigan. Special concern species, high quality natural communities and other unique natural features are not legally protected by state or federal endangered species legislation. However, they are considered to be rare and should be protected to prevent future listing.

Federally listed species are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is the federal agency responsible for federally listed species in Michigan (Michigan's Official List of Endangered and Threatened Species- Effective April 9, 2009.)

For a T&E Species Review, please contact OSEH EP3 at 734-763-6973 with details regarding the project. OSEH will submit the project information to the MDNR for review. Within a few days, OSEH will receive a letter from the DNR Wildlife Division indicating that either:

  • no rare species or unique natural features are known to occur near the site of interest,

OR

  • rare species or unique natural features have been known to occur near the site of interest.

If no rare species or unique natural features are known to occur near the site of interest, project activities can proceed.

If rare species or unique natural features have been known to occur near the site of interest, the MDNR Wildlife Division needs to review the project in more detail. This review process usually takes 30-45 days. If the MDNR determines that threatened or endangered species may be present in the project area, a project clearance evaluation must be conducted. A project clearance evaluation involves at least one of the following:

  • A consultant or other knowledgeable source (i.e. botanist, ecologist, biologist, experienced birder, etc.) would prepare a description of the project area with regard to the threatened or endangered species that were identified along with a recent photo of the project site and a map that shows habitat types and location of the proposed project. This level of evaluation will only define the presence or absence of available habitat. If it is determined by the MDNR that there is no significant available habitat, the project may be cleared at this point. If potential habitat does exist, the next level of evaluation must be undertaken (see options 2 or 3 below).
  • A statement from a knowledgeable source stating that suitable habitat is or is not present and why the project will not impact the species or habitats identified.
  • Results from a complete and adequate survey by a knowledgeable source showing whether or not the above listed species are present in the affected project area.

If threatened or endangered species will be taken or harmed, an Endangered Species Permit is required.