In honor of the second annual Endangered Species Day, May 18, a Web site celebrates the success stories and details conservation efforts that led to population booms for 100 endangered plants and animals since the landmark law giving federal protection was enacted in 1973. Species on the road to recovery from all 50 states and every territory are highlighted on the Web site, created by the Center for Biological Diversity.
The Web site, www.esasuccess.org, begins with a map allowing viewers to choose from 15 different regions to see the species featured from that area, including population trend graphs and short descriptions of their decline and progress. Click on the name of the species for the full story on animal and plant recoveries.
“From key deer and green sea turtles in Florida, to grizzly bears and wolves in Montana, sea otters and blue butterflies in California, and short-nose sturgeon and roseate terns in New York, the Endangered Species Act has not only saved hundreds of species from extinction,” said Kieran Suckling, policy director of the Center for Biological Diversity, “but also put them on the road to recovery. The Endangered Species Act is one of America’s most successful conservation laws.”
Currently 1,312 species in the United States are protected under the law, signed by President Richard Nixon in 1973. The Act has served as the primary force behind the recovery of major species, including the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and the gray wolf.
The Endangered Species Day resolution, introduced by Senator Feinstein, passed the Senate with unanimous consent on May 1, 2007.
“California’s conservation efforts have already helped restore California condor, winter run chinook salmon, and California gray whale populations,” said Senator Diane Feinstein of California, a Democrat, who introduced the legislation. “But more still needs to be done, and I hope that Endangered Species Day will spark wonder and interest in conservation efforts throughout the country.”
The Endangered Species Act’s best known successes include the U.S. national symbol, the bald eagle. Numbers increased from 417 pairs in 1963 to 9,250 pairs in 2006. The population is so healthy that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is acting to delist the bald eagle.
Species success stories are plentiful on the Good News Network, including this compilation of good news from 2006. Another story highlighted success for Loggerhead sea turtles. And in Canada, GNN points to good news for Elk herds in British Columbia.