What's being done? Since "extinct" is
forever, biologists and environmentalists
are working together to manage and protect biodiversity (the
ability of many different species to thrive within a
particular region). Here are three ways they do it:
- Wildlife Management Approach - manages game
species for sustained yield by using laws to regulate
hunting, establishing harvest quotas, developing
population management plans and using international
treaties to protect migrating game species such as water
- Ecosystem Approach - aims to preserve balanced
populations of species in their native habitats,
establish legally protected wilderness areas and wildlife
reserves and eliminate alien species.
- Species Approach - An emergency response,
based on protecting endangered species by identifying
them, giving them legal protection, preserving and
managing their critical habitats, propagating them in
captivity and reintroducing them in suitable
Protecting ecosystems is the best way to preserve species
diversity because it tackles the problem before it becomes
It's the Law!
Several United States Federal Laws and International
treaties help protect endangered and threatened wild species
around the world. The three most powerful laws are the
Endangered Species Act, the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Rhinoceros and
Tiger Conservation Act.
Is any of this helping?
- The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (amended in
1982 and 1988) is one of the world's toughest
environmental laws. This law makes it illegal for
Americans to import or trade in any product made from an
endangered or threatened species unless it is used for an
approved scientific purpose or to enhance the survival of
the species. Also, the endangered species on this list
cannot be hunted, killed, collected or injured in the
- Any decision to list or unlist a species must be
based on biology only, not on economic
considerations. The act also forbids federal
agencies to carry out, fund or authorize projects that
would either jeopardize an endangered or threatened
species or destroy or modify its critical habitat - the
land, air and water necessary for its survival.
From 1970 -1993 the number of "found in United States
only" species on the Endangered and Threatened list grew
from 92 to 775.
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species (CITES) of 1975. As of 2007, this treaty,
signed by 172 countries, lists over 5,000 animal species and over 28,000 plant species that cannot be
commercially traded as live specimens or wildlife
products because they are endangered or threatened.
Unfortunately enforcement of this treaty isn't great.
Convicted violators often pay only small fines and member
countries can exempt themselves from protection of any
listed species. Also, much of the illegal trade in
wildlife and wildlife products goes on in countries that have not signed the treaty.
- The Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994.
The United States Congress passed the Rhinoceros and
Tiger Conservation Act to provide resources to
conservation programs focused on saving these endangered
species. Congress authorized $10 millionhn to provide for conservation of
these animals annually.
Yes, of course!! But the annual federal budget for
protecting endangered species is less than what beer
companies spend on two 30 second TV commercials during the
Super Bowl. That means there's not enough money to evaluate
the species now proposed for listing. Many species could
vanish while they wait to be listed! That's why you need to
Check out Protecting Wildlife
Resources & Preserving Biodiversity
Check out Environmental
E N D A N G E R E D
S P E C I E S
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August 2, 2009
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