Endangered Animal Species
Endangered species (ES) are those identified as such because their population numbers, in the opinion of the Secretary of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER), require special attention to ensure their perpetuation in the physical space where they exist. In Puerto Rico, 39 endangered species of fauna have been identified. These species are protected by Law Number 241 (Wildlife Law of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) and Regulation Number 6766, which regulates the management of threatened and endangered species in Puerto Rico (Reglamento para Regir el Manejo de las Especies vulnerables y en Peligro de Extinción del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto). It is illegal to hunt or collect vulnerable or endangered species as well as possessing, transporting, or selling items derived from vulnerable or endangered species that have been identified by the Department.
Regulation Number 6766 establishes the following categories:
1-Critically endangered species is a species facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future.
2-Endangered species is one that, although not critically endangered, faces a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term.
3-A vulnerable species is one that, although not critically endangered, faces a high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future.
Among the factors that have contributed to jeopardizing these species are:
1. Loss and degradation of habitat, mainly because of human activities such as pollution, some developments, and fires.
2. Exotic species because they compete with native species for food and habitat.
3. Some natural processes (hurricanes) can accelerate the extinction of a species.
In addition to implementing laws and regulations, it is necessary to protect important nesting areas and habitats of these species. Moreover, DNER has established recovery projects for some species, among which we can mention the Puerto Rican parrot, yellow-shouldered blackbird, and the Puerto Rican crested toad.
Version: 08032002 Rev. 1