DEEP: 1989 - Protections Added for Endangered Species

Top 40
Environmental Accomplishments of the Past 40 Years

Protections Added for Endangered Species


In 1973, the Federal Endangered Species Act was established to protect rare species of plants and animals. Building on the success of this federal program, a program was established to conserve, protect, restore and enhance endangered or threatened species and their essential habitats. With passage of the state’s Endangered Species Act in 1989, DEP biologists and groups of experts in various taxonomic fields developed the first list of Connecticut Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern Species, which became official in 1992. The state’s list of endangered species is reviewed and updated every five years.

Interesting Facts:

  • 1998: Osprey, restored from a low of nine nesting pairs in 1974 to widespread nesting from Stonington to Greenwich, were removed from the list of Connecticut Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern species.
  • 2007: Bald eagle removed from the Federal Endangered Species List. The bald eagle, common in the early 1700s, became extremely rare in the lower 48 states by the 1960s. This precipitous decline was due to loss of habitat, contamination of their food by DDT and other pesticides, and illegal shooting. DDT accumulated in the food chain and caused eagles to lay eggs with weakened shells that cracked during incubation. Connecticut banned the use of DDT in 1969 and general use nationwide was banned in 1972. This ban coupled with listing under both the Federal and State Endangered Species Acts led to the species recovery. In 1992, bald eagles completed the first successful fledging of chicks in Connecticut in over 40 years. While eagles have recovered dramatically nationwide, restoration in Connecticut is still ongoing and these beautiful birds remain protected under the Connecticut Endangered Species Act and the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
More Information

What You Can Do

  • Learn more about the habitat and life history needs and of Connecticut’s Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern Species and help conserve, enhance or restore essential habitats.
  • Respect area closures established for the protection of rare species such as beach nesting areas used by piping plovers and least terns or bald eagle nesting locations and winter roosts.
  • Spread the word: tell your friends and family why these species matter and foster a conservation ethic.
  • If you see a listed species, please let us know where and when you saw it, and send a digital photo if possible.

"The Connecticut Endangered Species Act has been a vital tool in conserving and restoring rare species. Nowhere is that success more apparent than the restoration of osprey and the great blue heron, both of which were restored to a point where they were removed from the list, leaving a legacy of these majestic birds for generations to come."
Julie Victoria, CT DEP Wildlife Biologist