Over the past 25 has years the Endangered Species Act has been critical tool to protect species? It has played a major role in slowing the rate of extinction, but has not been effective in ensuing the recovery of listed species. Of the roughly 1300 listed only 23 have been â€œdelistedâ€ or removed from the species list since 1973: 7 due to extinction 12 due to â€œdata errorâ€(should not have been listed in the first place), and the remaining species benefiting from other activities such as the banning of DDT.
The Endangered Species Act, which was passed in 1973, is enormously powerful. In other laws federal agencies are required to provide protection to species where practicable, But the Endangered Species Act elevated protection of all species to one the U.S. governmentâ€™s highest priorities. This protection is absolute. No equivocation. â€œThe Act is widely regarded by its proponents as one of this countryâ€™s most important and powerful environmental laws and an international model.â€(Stroup 2).
How can such a powerful tool have such inadequate results? The answer is that the Endangered Species Act ignores the fundamental economic problem of scarcity. Resources for saving species are inevitably limited. They are scarce. It is obvious that we canâ€™t set aside the entire United States for wildlife habitat, and we canâ€™t even set aside a large part of the United States without interfering with itâ€™s users. The current Endangered Species Act represents an effort to avoid or disregard that fact. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the government agency that is the major upholder of the Endangered Species Act, has too often acted as though there are no limits, as though they are exempt from the problem. Their actions have had contrary results.
The Endangered Species Act calls for FWS biologists to control how land is used any time they consider it important for listed species.