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In California, the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has been studying endangered species protection issues with federal funding since 1988. DPR’s Endangered Species Program seeks to protect endangered and threatened species in California, including federally protected endangered and threatened species, proposed endangered species, and proposed threatened and Category 1 candidate species which are in the process of becoming listed species. Protected species include birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, mollusks, insects, pollinators, and many plants.
Endangered species are not economic pests, there is no essential conflict between using pesticides and protecting endangered species. However, it is important that non-target hazards of pesticides are understood and adequate protection strategies are developed and implemented to avoid non-target exposures to protected species. DPR’s Endangered Species program seeks to protect endangered species through:
- mapping sites occupied by federally and California listed species,
- evaluating pesticide exposure risks to inhabited sites,
- classifying risks to endangered species, and
- developing protection strategies to minimize risk as needed.
DPR centralizes the information needed to assist pesticide users in protecting endangered species in DPR’s PRESCRIBE database.
Along with maintaining the PRESCRIBE database, DPR’s Endangered Species Program also coordinates endangered species protection strategies with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Food and Agriculture, and the county agricultural commissioners. DPR’s Endangered Species Program activities are carried out in accordance with a State Plan developed with and approved by the U.S. EPA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.