December 28, 2022
Recognizing the Endangered Species Act
Posted by Laura Guertin
On this day, December 28, the #EndangeredSpeciesAct was signed in 1973. Considered to be one of the world’s strongest conservation laws, the ESA provides a framework to conserve and protect endangered and threatened species and their habitats. pic.twitter.com/kgpi1CSg4e
— Sanctuaries (NOAA) (@sanctuaries) December 28, 2022
The end of December through early January is a time filled with schools closed for a holiday break, families gathering for celebrations…. and lost in all the festivities is the anniversary of the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries are the two federal agencies that enforce the Act, including the implementation of provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES)
This video from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service serves as an Endangered Species Act Overview.
The text of the Endangered Species Act can be found online as a PDF (USFWS) and easily searchable on a web page (NOAA).
The Endangered Species Act is still very much being applied to terrestrial and marine species, with the status of organisms moving in a positive direction, in the wrong direction, or staying the same.
The fading North Atlantic right whale will remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, and the species requires a series of protective steps to stave off extinction, federal authorities said Tuesday. https://t.co/lFhFqbIuAl
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) December 28, 2022
Speaking of penguins! We recently listed Antarctica’s emperor penguin as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. We’re working with partners across the globe to help protect imperiled wildlife, like emperor penguins: https://t.co/00Dwb2itn0
— U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (@USFWS) December 19, 2022
Having a species listed as threatened or endangered is a complex process, requiring an documentation of not just the “numbers” but an exploration into the human/cultural connection and use of the organism.
Federal officials are now considering whether to list the queen conch as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but fishing communities in several countries are opposing the move. https://t.co/VdbpDBRrtO
— News from Science (@NewsfromScience) December 27, 2022
The Endangered Species Act has several success stories, such as some species found along the Louisiana coast. I created a quilt celebrating that the American alligator was determined to be fully recovered and removed from the Endangered Species List in 1987, the brown pelican was delisted in November 2009, and the Louisiana black bear was delisted in 2016. (*see full blog post describing more about these species – and the quilt!).
Although schools are currently not in session and many of us are not around our colleagues or at our laboratories and institutions, consider ways to share this important piece of legislation once the new year begins. There is a National Endangered Species Day that takes place the third Friday in May each year, but why wait? Help students understand the challenges and solutions for protecting species in the U.S. and across the globe.
To view the list of current threatened/endangered species, visit: https://www.fws.gov/program/endangered-species/species