What does take mean under the Endangered Species Act and what is incidental take?

Take as defined under the ESA means "to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct."

Incidental take is an unintentional, but not unexpected, taking.

When a species is listed as endangered, take prohibitions are automatically extended to it under ESA Section 9.

When a species is listed as threatened, NOAA Fisheries must issue protective regulations in order to extend any take prohibitions to the species under ESA Section 4(d).