Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 Law and Legal Definition

The Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 (“Act”) was a U.S. federal legislation that directed the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to initiate and carry out programs that aim to conserve, restore, and in some cases propagate certain species of indigenous fish and wildlife determined to be in danger of extinction. This Act was the predecessor to the Endangered Species Act.

Concerns about the whooping crane led to the creation of the Act. The act was the second bill passed in the 20th century to protect and preserve wildlife. However, the Endangered Species Preservation Act had some flaws: it did not prohibit taking endangered species; acknowledged only select endangered species; and did not protect habitats. Therefore, it was in effect only for seven years and was soon replaced by the Endangered Species Act of 1973.