Endangered species that are not native to an area

I have a question. Here in California as in many places we have non native species both in the plant and animal world. When they are listed as endangered are they still afforded the same protections even though this is not their natural home?

From the previous discussions answer is that status won’t change even if it’s invasive in the area. https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/how-to-handle-global-conservation-statuses-for-non-native-taxa/7118

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Hello, Naturephotosuze!
What do you mean with “non native species”? Species from another part of California, an other US state, or another continent. Would you be so nice and give an example for one plant and one animal? Thanks in advance! petzenbeer

I’m actually interested in knowing the info for all types; however in this instance I’m seeking info on coast redwoods as they are planted in a few areas in Los Angeles County and though native to California, they don’t naturally grow in this area.

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I should also add that I’m questioning whether they can be protected from being chopped down to accommodate potential development.

That sounds like a legal question in which the answer would depend on where you live and the local laws. I don’t think it is a question anyone here could answer unless by chance we have a lawyer that specializes in such issues in LA county.

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The discussion of protected status gets a little complicated because that will depend on by whom it is considered “endangered”. I know that Coastal Redwood is considered “Globally Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, but its Federal and State status are unknown to me. The latter two probably have more legal clout. And as others have pointed out, the status of planted specimens becomes a question which is best addressed by someone with knowledge of the nuances of such laws and regulations–including local ordinances. In other words: Be sure to consult a legal expert and not rely on a casual discussion on iNaturalist Forum!

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For this particular example, coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) is not listed under either the U.S. Federal Endangered Species Act or the state’s California Endangered Species Act, so there are no legal protections based on endangered species status. The IUCN listing has no effect in the US, except possibly regarding international trade. In general, for species listed under the two acts, you would need to read the listing documents and regulations for each species individually to know where and how they are protected - protections vary depending upon whether they are “endangered” or “threatened”, are different for plants and animals, and are often tailored to specific needs on a species-by-species basis.

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Thanks so much everyone for your great answers. I appreciate the info!

I do not agree with protection of alien species. In some countries, for example, archaeophytes are protected even though they are 100% aliens, though of older introduction.
This does not necessarily mean they all must be eradicated as soon as possible.

I think that endangered species should be protected in their area of origin, also in order to ensure the conservation of well defined groups with certain genetic characters that can be linked to geography.

In South Africa, there are a number of private reserves that stock rare or threatened species of mammals, like one in the southwestern cape that keeps Cape Mountain Zebra, even though they weren’t recorded as naturally occurring in the prevailing habitat and may be worse off for it. Nevertheless, their status as threatened still stands and all efforts are made to keep the populations afloat

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I’m surprised nobody has brought up LA’s exotic Amazona parrots, the two most common of which are Endangered on the IUCN Red List (Red-crowned and Lilac-crowned)

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Yup.

The designations “critically endangered”, “endangered”, “vulnerable”, and “near threatened” on iNaturalist are mostly from the IUCN. I think it’s a common misunderstanding that this means these taxa receive some kind of protection. The IUCN designations, in and of themselves, have no relationship to any protected status within the US.

Sometimes, of course, a taxon will have some IUCN designation as well as a protected status under the federal Endangered Species Act, similar state-level laws, or other governmental policies. These are separate and independent facts, however.

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Moreover, “global” in the IUCN sheets does not mean “at the planet level” but “in the whole area of origin”.

A good example is Pinus radiata, which is Endangered (IUCN Red List) in California, but cultivated in many Mediterranean regions, and an invasive alien pest in many of them
https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/53421-Pinus-radiata (click the status tab to see)

However, this is not a species that is obscured. A real issue arises in countries trying to eradicate alien invasives, when they are obscured globally and localities cannot be seen. Fortunately, there are not many cases on iNaturalist.

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Aoudad or Barbary Sheep (Ammotragus lervia) is considered Vulnerable by IUCN in its native range in Africa and iNat records there are obscured. It is introduced and established in places outside of Africa and those non-native records were formerly obscured also but are not at present. See discussion: https://www.inaturalist.org/flags/523156

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In regards to LA County and redwoods in particular, there are some cities in that area that protect mature trees, so you may want to check up on that. There’s also no real logging pressure there. The biggest risk by far would be development. That and just dying due to the wrong habitat. You can’t fully blame human caused climate change as the species was already extirpated probably during the Xerothermic period, but for sure human caused climate change makes these planted trees more likely to die as it becomes warmer and precipitation becomes more erratic. So while they are a neat species they aren’t really of any conservation interest in that area on a broader scale. You could make an argument for conserving large introduced redwoods just north of the native range, but not so far to the south during a time the climate is warming.

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