Friday, April 22, 2016

US claims success in efforts to save endangered species

The world may be hurtling to the worst extinction crisis since the dinosaurs were wiped out, but the US is claiming success in its own efforts to prevent species following the path of titanosaurs, dodos and passenger pigeons. A total of 34 species have been removed from federal Endangered Species Act protections since 1978 due to them recovering, rather than becoming extinct. This pace has accelerated under Barack Obama’s presidency – 16 of the 34 recovered species have been delisted during the current administration. Animals as diverse as the brown pelican, gray wolf and Concho water snake have been pulled back from the brink and removed from the at-risk list. The Louisiana black bear, famous for one of its number being spared by Theodore Roosevelt on a hunting trip which prompted the name “teddy bear”, was officially deemed no longer at risk in March. In Obama’s final year in power, his administration has started to puff its chest out over apparent victories in preventing wildlife loss. “Preventing extinctions has certainly been a priority for this administration,” said Gavin Shire, a spokesman at the Fish and Wildlife Service. “It takes time to reverse invasive species or change land management regimes. We are now seeing the fruits of these efforts.” Shine said the Endangered Species Act is a “strong, flexible law” that has been wielded effectively by the federal government. Enacted in 1973, the act places restrictions on federal actions that could harm listed organisms. Currently, there are 1,430 domestic and overseas species considered threatened or endangered – including the wood bison, grizzly bear and sperm whale. A further 901 plants, spanning cacti, lilies and ferns, are also imperiled....more

No comments: