The Endangered Species Act causes controversy, as it is proved that the species protected by it are not being helped to recover. It seems that even though a lot of species were added to the list, they weren’t helped to get back to normal. Only 2% of the species have recovered enough to be eliminated from the list, which means that 98% of them are as endangered as they were when entering their protection.
Another alarming issue is that the number of animals and plants on the waiting list has been decreasing constantly, leading to its lowest numbers ever in 2015, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Apparently, only 42 animals and 18 plants are the remaining candidates for the list.
When the act was first passed in 1973, it received a lot of support in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, but since then, the government decreased its care for the endangered species, focusing on things they considered to be more important.
The Endangered Species Act is a really powerful act, but it can only protect the species that are on its list. With the help of this act, 99% of the animals and plants on the brick of extinction were saved.
In 2011, the agency was required to make its final agreement on which new species will be accepted as endangered, with 151 species gaining their much needed protection. Species that were included on the list include the yellow billed cuckoo, the prairie butterfly called the Dakota Skipper, that has been waiting for its protection since 1978 and the Oregon spotted frog that has first petitioned for protection in 1989. Another species that made the list is an ancient salamander named the Ozark hellbender, which was endangered by water pollution and waited for a response from the endangered species officials since 2004. This year, only one species made the list, the Sierra Nevada red fox.
The species that candidate for a position on the famous list don’t receive much protection while being on the waiting list. A concerning report showed that while waiting for protection, more than 40 species have been extinct. The gopher tortoise, the Hermes copper butterfly and the Pacific walrus are among the current waiting species.
Because major extinctions happen lately, experts are saying that this is the sixth major extinction crisis in the history of the Earth. As the Endangered Species Act causes controversy, experts believe that more species should be included in order to be protected and that more should be done for them once they are on it.
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