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Environmental Division

Natural Resources Office, Ecology Section

James K. Polk Building, Suite 900
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0334
Phone: 615.253.2472
Fax: 615.741.1098
Dr. Deedee Kathman, Supervisor


Threatened and Endangered Species

Tennessee Coneflower
Tennessee Coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis)
State and Federally Endangered

Spring Creek Bladderpod
Spring Creek Bladderpod (Lesquerella perforata)
State and Federally Endangered

Program Functions

Project Impact Assessment

Federally Listed Species
As each transportation project is planned and designed, Ecology Section biologists assess the potential for adverse impacts to state and federally listed species. Federally listed species are covered by the Endangered Species Act, which was passed in 1973 to protect the nation’s native plants and animals. Species may be listed as “endangered” if the species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. A species that is threatened is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are responsible for the Endangered Species Act and work with other agencies to try to prevent impacts to species and their designated habitats. The USFWS is responsible for the terrestrial and freshwater plants and animals, thus operating in Tennessee, while NMFS has jurisdiction for marine life.

State Listed Species
State listed species, which are addressed by Ecology Section biologists, are covered by the Rare Species Protection and Conversation Act, which was passed by the State of Tennessee in 1985. This Act is an agreement between the state and the USFWS to protect Tennessee’s endangered, threatened or special concern plants and animals. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Natural Heritage (TDEC-DNH) oversees the plant and program and coordinates activities with other state agencies, while Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) oversees protection of animal species. TDEC-DHN also administers USFWS-funded projects designed to conserve and protect animal species of federal concern. TDEC-DNH has a detailed database of state and federally–listed species which is reviewed by the biologists working on TDOT projects. Species found within the project area are listed in the ecology report. Ecology Section biologists coordinate with the TWRA and TDEC-DNH when a project may adversely impact a state listed species.