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Endangered Species Act

June 3, 2005 • Volume 15, Issue 21
Is the landmark law in need of change?
By Mary H. Cooper

Introduction

The Florida panther still survives in the western Everglades, but fewer than 100 now live in the wild.  (Getty Images/Michael K. Nichols)
The Florida panther still survives in the western Everglades, but fewer than 100 now live in the wild. (Getty Images/Michael K. Nichols)

Since the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed in 1973, more than 1,200 animals and plants have been listed as threatened or endangered — a designation designed to protect species on the brink of extinction. But the landmark legislation has been controversial from the start, pitting environmentalists against property-rights advocates in a protracted debate over the ESA's economic costs and environmental benefits. The ongoing controversy has prevented Congress from reauthorizing the law since 1992, but the Republican-dominated Congress is considering rewriting it, complaining that less than 1 percent of listed species have recovered under the law. Wildlife protection groups, however, claim that proposed, so-called sound-science requirements could end up gutting the law. Meanwhile, the Bush administration says it is committed to encouraging voluntary conservation initiatives and to making the law more responsive to the concerns of private landowners and state and local governments.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Wildlife and Endangered Species
Feb. 17, 2012  Invasive Species
Oct. 2010  Wildlife Smuggling
Jun. 03, 2005  Endangered Species ActUpdated
Sep. 15, 2000  Mass Extinction
Oct. 01, 1999  Endangered Species Act
Apr. 19, 1996  Protecting Endangered Species
Aug. 28, 1992  Marine Mammals Vs. Fish
Jun. 21, 1991  Endangered Species
May 24, 1991  Animal Rights
Feb. 12, 1988  America's Biological Diversity
Aug. 02, 1985  Wildlife Management
Sep. 16, 1977  Protecting Endangered Wildlife
May 10, 1967  Wildlife Preservation
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Wildlife and Endangered Species
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