Endangered Species Act Essay

2945 words - 12 pages

PurposeTo study the history of the Endangered Species Act, Endangered Species Coalition and the animals protected under it and to follow the latest happenings in the news pertaining to this subject.Review of LiteratureThe Endangered Species ActThe Endangered Species Act was created on December 28, 1973, for the protection of all animals whose numbers were declining and were in danger of becoming extinct. Congress passed it with overwhelming votes of 355-4 in the House of Representatives and 92-0 in the Senate. When it was signed, President Nixon was quoted saying, "Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed." Over the past thirty years, many animals have been added to the endangered species list and have benefited greatly from the protection that it offers. However, getting on the endangered species list is a long and tedious process. (ESA, 1) In order for a species to be added to the endangered species list, it has to be "listed". To be listed, the species has to be first identified as "likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future." This can only be determined by scientific means, not political ones. The process by which a species is added to the endangered species list should take no longer than twenty-seven months. However, there are many cases that take much longer than that. Also, cases may take a lot shorter than that if it is an extreme emergency and the species is literally on the brink of extinction. (ESA, 1) Before a species is listed, it is seen as a candidate species. In many cases, species may remain as candidates for years on end. For instance, the Florida black bear has been a candidate species since 1992. However, if the species passes the requirements to be listed but lacks the funds to do so, it is seen as "warranted, but precluded" on the endangered species list. (ESA, 1) After a specie has been added to the Endangered Species List and is under the protection of the ESA, a critical habitat has to be determined. A critical habitat is a piece of land that is designated essential to the survival of the endangered specie. In fact, the loss of a habitat is the leading cause of the endangerment of a specie, affecting over 95% of them. However, out of the over 1,200 species listed by the FWS, only about 130 of them have had critical habitats designated for them. In most cases, the FWS will only make a critical habitat for an endangered specie if forced to by court order, and for no other reason. (ESA, 1) After a specie has been added to the Endangered Species List and a critical habitat has hopefully been designated, the FWS has to set up a recovery plan for the specie. The recovery plan should consist of several main points. Some of the points are an evaluation of the specie's situation at the current time. Then a target population has to be determined and evaluated as well to see if it is...

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