The Endangered Species Act Update Politics and Policies
The Endangered Species Act is America’s safety net for plants and animals on the brink of extinction. Enacted in 1973, the Endangered Species Act today protects more than 1200 species and the habitats on which they depend within the United States and its territories.
The U.S. has one of the world's most powerful legal tools for protecting species that are hovering on the brink of extinction: the Endangered Species Act, or ESA. Passed by Congress and signed by the President in 1973 to counteract the adverse effects of unrestrained and poorly regulated economic development, the Act is the best and possibly the last chance Americans have of securing the future of their natural heritage.
Although it functions by protecting individual species or subspecies on a case-by-case basis-most often in response to citizen suits-the ESA at its best provides landscape-level protection for complements of species. To date, the Act has helped species like the American bald eagle, the black-footed ferret, the gray whale, the peregrine falcon, and the spotted owl. The ESA currently protects more than a thousand species, yet there are another 3,000 candidate species that are not yet protected by the Act and are in urgent need of protection. Meanwhile, the ESA is coming under constant fire from industry-backed interests in Congress and in the White House. Politicians are under growing pressure to de-authorize or substantially weaken the Act.
for more complete information and the current pending state of the ESA please visit The Center for Biological Diversity.