Habitat Conservation Plans

Habitat Conservation Plans

An image of an aeʻoPursuant to State of Hawai‘i endangered species law, codified in Chapter 195D, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (HRS), it is unlawful for any person to “take” an endangered or threatened species of aquatic life, wildlife, or land plant.  “Take” means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect endangered or threatened species of aquatic life or wildlife, or to cut, collect, uproot, destroy, injure, or possess endangered or threatened species of aquatic life or land plants, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct (Section 195D-2, HRS).

When development projects or land management activities cannot avoid take of endangered or threatened species, the landowner may seek an Incidental Take License (ITL) from the Department for take of threatened or endangered species, if such take is incidental to an otherwise lawful activity.  The ITL must be accompanied by a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) that meets the requirements enumerated under Chapter 195D, HRS, including incidental take measures for minimization, mitigation, monitoring, and provide for a net recovery benefit to the affected species.

Quick Facts about HCPs and ITLs:

  • HCPs provide for endangered species conservation on State and private land, contributing to recovery efforts through partnerships and proactive planning;
  • HCPs describe the anticipated effects of the proposed taking, how those impacts will be minimized and mitigated, and how the HCP is to be funded;
  • Those issued an ITL are required to submit an annual report to the Department within 90-days of each fiscal year ending June 30, including the status of meeting HCP obligations;
  • Development of HCPs and ITLs are voluntary;
  • HCPs and ITLs are jointly processed with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, pursuant to section 10 of the Federal Endangered Species Act; and
  • Minimum of one year for development process.

Parties involved in development of an ITL and HCP:

  • Applicant or Landowner(s)
  • Department of Land and Natural Resources
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Endangered Species Recovery Committee
  • Board of Land and Natural Resources
  • Attorney General
  • Public

More information on HCPs: