The Endangered Species Act of 1973
Robin Spratling APES
What is the ESA?
- Created and maintains a list of endangered and threatened species
- Makes illegal trading, selling, possessing, or taking any endangered species
- Allows for the creation of lands for the protection of these species
- Grants aid to States to protect these species
- Creates legal punishment: civil and criminal punishments for any violations of the act.
There are currently around 2100 species on the list of protected species (EPA 2012).
In the 1900s, there were over 5 million ferrets across the US, however the population of the ferrets was quickly diminishing. In 1967, the last black footed ferret in captivity died and the species was thought to be extinct. However, in 1981, a small population was discovered in Wyoming. Due to the help of the ESA, there are now over 1400 black footed ferrets living in the US.
Gray Wolf of the Northern Rocky Mountains
- The ESA does not include any portion that keeps species from becoming at-risk
- Unclear whether recovery methods are science based
- There are no requirements about the types of recovery methods
The ESA could be improved by including more direction and rules about methods of recovery for endangered species. The methods in which recovery should happen are not laid out in the act, so recovery methods vary greatly and can be inconsistent or not based completely in science. Also, animals should continue to be monitored even after they are removed from the endangered species list. Because in the case of the Gray Wolf, when it was removed from the list, people began hunting and trapping them. This could cause the Gray Wolf to become endangered again.
Center of Biological Diversity. (n.d.). 110 success stories for endangered species day 2012. Retrieved from http://www.esasuccess.org/.
Biodiversity Ontario. (2009 February 24). Key strengths and weaknesses of the endangered species act. Retrieved from http://biodiversityontario.com/key-strengths-and-weaknesses-of-the-endangered-species-act-2007/.