press release from Center for Biological Diversity
Dec. 28 Marks Anniversary of Nation’s Most Successful Conservation Law
WASHINGTON— This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, the world’s most powerful law protecting plants and animals from extinction. Signed into law by President Nixon on Dec. 28, 1973, the Act has saved hundreds of species, including bald eagles, brown pelicans, gray wolves, grizzlies, sea turtles, whales and many others.
The Center for Biological Diversity, the nation’s leading conservation group on endangered species, has compiled hundreds of Endangered Species Act success stories in all 50 states, and is providing this guide for reporters to cover the 40th anniversary from all angles including its history, legal issues and species success stories with local, regional and national perspectives.
To find recovering species in your coverage area, check out this region-by-region map.
Endangered Species Act Benchmarks:
- 99 percent saved from extinction: Of the more than 1,400 plants and animals placed under the care of the Act over the past four decades, 99 percent have been saved from extinction. To date only 10 species protected under the Act have been declared extinct, and of these eight were very likely already extinct when they were granted protection.
- Successfully recovering species: A 2006 study by the Center found that 90 percent of endangered species in the northeast U.S. were meeting or exceeding federal recovery goals and moving toward eventual removal of protected status. More recently, the Center identified 110 species from all over the country that have seen their numbers rise in many cases dramatically because of the protections of the Endangered Species Act.
- Strong public support: A national poll commissioned by the Center earlier this year found that 2 out of 3 Americans want the Endangered Species Act strengthened or left alone, but not weakened.
A few highlights of wildlife protected under the Endangered Species Act:
- Nesting pairs of California least terns have increased 2,819 percent;
- San Miguel island foxes have increased by 3,830 percent;
- The number of nesting female Atlantic green sea turtles in Florida is up by 2,206 percent;
- El Segundo blue butterflies have increased by 22,312 percent.
Social Media/Creative Media: The Center has an interactive map and a free Droid mobile phone app that lets you find endangered species where you are or wherever you travel. We also have free endangered species ringtones that have been downloaded more than 600,000 times in 179 countries.
Photos: The Center has photos of endangered species that are ready and available for online, print and broadcast media use. Find them here.