Obama Too Slow to Protect Endangered Species

The Obama administration is lagging behind in protection of endangered species, critics say.

Conservation groups are lamenting that the current administration is slow in providing protection to species that are in danger of extinction.

In the first nearly two years of Obama’s presidency, his administration has only added 51 candidate species to the Endangered Species list. 

This number is drastically lower than the most recent Democratic president, Bill Clinton. The Clinton administration averaged 65 species a year being given protections. During his presidency, 522 species in all were given protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The ESA is one of the most broad and powerful pieces of legislation in the world for protecting animals. Species who are thought to be dwindling are first added to a candidate list for ESA protection. The federal government reviews the candidates and can decide to give them protections under the ESA. Sometimes candidates can sit on the candidate list for decades waiting for protections.

The species are not given any protections until they are officially listed. Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity says the Obama administration lacks a sense of urgency about protecting species.

The Obama administration, however, is still miles ahead of George W. Bush, whose administration was as unfriendly toward the ESA as he was toward other environmental protection policies.

Extinction means a finality that we have trouble comprehending. It’s impossible for us to grasp the integral role that every species plays in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Every link in the chain we break by letting a species be completely eradicated, is another piece of the Earth that dies with it.

The CBD says that 24 species have become extinct while on the candidate list waiting for protections from the federal government. We simply can’t tolerate another.

Photo: marcn

172 comments

Carole R.
Carole R.4 years ago

I, too, am very disappointed in this adminastration. I thought Obama would do a better job. 24 species lost is 24 too many. Get on the ball! Save our beautiful animals before it's too late.

Ally T.
A P.5 years ago

I was really hoping the Obama administration would be the change that environmentalism, animal welfare/rights, and many others need. I'm pretty disappointed that the administration wasn't the knight-in-shining-armor that we all had hoped it would be.

Susan Wise
Susan Wise5 years ago

How can we impeach Ken Salazar? I've been asking this question to every organization that I get information from and have had a dearth of information as to how one goes about it.
He is the person President Obama has delegated the responsibility to and yet, Ken Salazar is to wildlife as what Adolf Hitler is to a concentration camp. He needs to be impeached. It's as simple as that.

Lisa Neste
Lisa Neste5 years ago

Although I have the ytmost respect for Pres. Obama, the main reason I voted for him is because I felt like he would be the man to step up & do what is right by our enviroment & all it's inhabitors. I would like to see him do much more. Secretary Salazar seems to be hindering much of this progress that needs to be made.

Tori Lamp
Tori Lamp5 years ago

I am not sure who said " You cant have a society if you dont have the environment." Humans are killing the world. Animals dont have a voice for themselves.

Elaine W.
Elaine W.5 years ago

Shame on you sir !

jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

Get hopping before it is too late for everything in the country!

Joan B.
Joan B.5 years ago

Once exstinct they can't be replaced. We should do all we can to help these animals. They can't always help themselves due to certain conditions, so it is up to us to help.

Jupp K.
Jupp K.5 years ago

It is exactly like the old Indian Chief once said: "In the end you'll find out that you cannot eat your money." Protection of animals like sharks, whales and dolphins does not cost very much. Keeping the oceans healthy is vital for the human race. Sadly, very few people think about that. It's all about money.

Cy G.
C. G.5 years ago

very disappointing