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Endangered Species Act Could Be Weakened

Endangered Species Act Could Be Weakened

A proposed policy coming from the current administration would limit the protection of wild animals and plants that need it. Eighty-nine conservation groups and 97 scientists expressed disapproval of the policy that seeks to reduce the protection of wildlife by changing the consideration of where the species currently lives and not include information about its historic range – meaning that if a species was at very low levels where it has spent most of its history but were wiped out there and moved to avoid extinction, that fact would not be considered. The only consideration would be what their numbers are in their current location.

It is as if a species that uses its survival instinct to leave harm’s way is punished for doing so. The proposed policy also seeks to change the interpretation of the meaning of significant in the phrase “significant portion of range,” which is in the Endangered Species Act. If this proposed policy had been in effect when the ESA was passed bald eagles would not have been protected in 48 states because there was a fairly large population in Alaska, said a Center for Biological Diversity official.

“Instead of conserving ecosystems for their biological and economic values, this policy would promote fragmentation and degradation, driving more and more species to the brink of extinction. This is bad science, bad law and bad policy,” said Patrick Paranteau, a law professor at the Vermont Law School. (Source: Center for Biological Diversity)

A very unfortunate misconception about the Endangered Species Act was pointed out in a letter from a Congressperson, “The goal of the Endangered Species Act is not merely to prevent the extinction of our Nation’s Animals and plants, it is to return species to the point they are viable components of their ecosystems,” said Representative Edward Markey Democrat from Massachusetts.

Curiously, one of the main criticisms of the process for getting wildlife listed for ESA protection is that it is too little too late, so by the time some species are reviewed and added their numbers and habitat remaining are so small the legal protection does very little to protect them, and they vanish forever.

By now, shouldn’t  it be clear wild animals and plants need to have large amounts of natural land preserved for them to survive? In a sense, one could argue that most species on the planet are at least threatened due to the fact the human population is at its largest ever and is still growing. Additionally, more and more land is being used for human development leaving wildlife without the resources they need to survive.

Image Credit: Sasata

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60 comments

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7:42AM PST on Nov 12, 2012

In Brazil they are actually cloning endangered species, Here is one of the downsides of the Endangered Species Act http://ponderingstuff.com/2012/08/23/endangeredspecies/

12:45PM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

It won't be if all us animal activists unite.

6:25PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

BAD

5:08AM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

Thanks for the article.

4:05AM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

We need more science-based policy and less "common sense" policy that kills species.

9:49PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

save endangered species

12:10PM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

WOW. I wonder who pays for the politicians' campaigns? Big Oil by any chance? We need to strengthen the endangered species act, not weaken it. We are killing off so many species at such an astonishing rate that it is already too late for a lot of them. Good for Edward Markey for using his voice in a constructive way - he is the first politician I have heard of in a long time who is actually worth voting for!

8:24AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

we need to let our representatives know we oppose ANY weakening of the endangered species act. if they get enough calls, emails, faxes and petitions they may wake up and do what is right.

7:45AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

There is really no future on this planet for any living thing. by the time man realizes thet the extinction of other spieces leads to its own eventual extinction all other forms of life will be gone.

8:38PM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

The CURRENT ADMINISTARTION NEEDS TO GO!!!!!! Obama is the worst president yet.

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