How the Endangered Species Act sets species on paths to recovery

Eva Botkin-Kowacki, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

Plans set in motion decades ago to save US species are seeing results, with more delistings from the 1973 Endangered Species Act under the Obama administration than under all previous administrations since the act’s inauguration.

Species are going extinct about 1,000 times faster than if humans weren’t part of the equation, according to Stuart Pimm’s 2014 research published in the journal Science. As such, many scientists now proclaim that Earth is experiencing its sixth great extinction.

“I hate that we concentrate on all the gloom and despair,” says Dr. Pimm, a conservation ecologist at Duke University, bemoaning his own research. “I think the story is that we are now becoming very successful at finding solutions. We’re learning how to do this craft we call conservation.”

And the numbers suggest that he’s right.

Under the Obama administration, 28 endangered or threatened species have recovered sufficiently to be removed from the endangered species list – more than under all other administrations combined since the Endangered Species Act (ESA) became law in 1973, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

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