Thursday, June 23, 2016
The Endangered Species Act works!
Every now and then you'll encounter harsh criticism over the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and how it's failing in its mission regarding imperiled species. The figure cited to support this view of the ESA's lack of success is given by anti-environmental politicians in the oft parroted soundbite that only 2% of species placed on the ESA's list are ever removed from it. But what they won't (or can't) tell you is while it's true that few species have recovered once added to the list thus far, they are in fact improving, dramatically so in many cases.
For your perusal, here's a brand new Systematic Review of Bird Recovery under the Endangered Species Act compiled by the Center for Biological Diversity. According to their analysis, 85% of continental United States birds protected under the ESA increased or stabilized their population size since being placed on the list.
Well, that seems like an awesome success story to me! Who could possibly be against it? Who stands to benefit from dismantling the ESA? Oh, the usual crowd: big oil and gas, miners, timber industry, real estate developers, etc. And who's looking out for their interests? When it comes to undermining critical habitat for wildlife, it invariably plays out the predictable way.
With a third of avian species in danger of extinction without action, it's no time for birders to blink this fall when it comes to selecting the next POTUS.
Link: A Wild Success