Critical Habitat Law and Legal Definition

Critical habitat for a threatened or endangered species means:

(i) “the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of this Act [15 USCS § 1533], on which are found those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation of the species and (II) which may require special management considerations or protection; and

(ii) specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of this Act [15 USCS § 1533], upon a determination by the Secretary that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species.” (16 USCS § 1532)