29 December 2011 Happy 38th Birthday, ESA! Posted by: John Motsinger | 3 comments | Share: Black-footed ferrets, once believed to be extinct, have made a miraculous recovery as a result of Endangered Species Act protections. But they still need our help. We almost missed it…38 years and one day ago, the Endangered Species Act was signed into law by President Nixon after receiving strong bipartisan support from members of Congress. Since then, the Act has been one of the most effective and important environmental laws. In nearly four decades, fewer than a dozen species have gone extinct, and most of those were already doomed before the law went into effect. Hundreds more have been rescued from the brink of extinction, including iconic animals such as the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, American alligator and gray wolf. Julia Whitty at Mother Jones published a nice homage with a list of endangered species (cribbed from Wikipedia) that have increased their numbers substantially while under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Here’s a partial list: Bald Eagle (increased from 417 to 11,040 pairs between 1963 and 2007); removed from list 2007 Whooping Crane (increased from 54 to 436 birds between 1967 and 2003) Peregrine Falcon (increased from 324 to 1,700 pairs between 1975 and 2000); removed from list Gray Wolf (populations increased dramatically in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes) Gray Whale (increased from 13,095 to 26,635 whales between 1968 and 1998); removed from list Grizzly bear (increased from about 271 to over 580 bears in the Yellowstone area between 1975 and 2005); California’s Southern Sea Otter (increased from 1,789 in 1976 to 2,735 in 2005) Black-Footed Ferret (increased from 18 in 1986 to 600 in 2006) Julia also included this beautiful video from Defenders’ board member and award-winning National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore: RARE from Joel Sartore on Vimeo. Thanks to all our supporters who have helped us defend and protect endangered species over the years. We hope you will take this opportunity to reflect on all the wonderful plants and animals that make up the web of life that sustains us all! Just remember, the battle isn’t over yet. Nearly 2,000 species remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, yet some members of Congress have been trying to dismantle our nation’s safety net for saving imperiled wildlife. But don’t just take our word for it. A story today from Rob Hotakainen with McClatchy’s DC bureau appeared in papers across the country from the Miami Herald to the Seattle Times, outlining pending legislative hearings on the Act from House Republicans. America’s endangered plants and animals will need all the help they can get to survive the coming attacks. 3 Responses to “Happy 38th Birthday, ESA!” Donna February 19th, 2012 I am so glad animals are being increased and are not so endangered anymore Marc Latham February 21st, 2012 I hadn’t realised just how successful the act has been. A good news story in a world that seems to have a lot of bad news. Congratulations. Daisy March 14th, 2012 HAPPY BIRTDHAY YOU CUTE FUZZYS IM ADOPT YOU & TAKE YOU HOME. Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential. California’s Rim Fire: Opportunities Rise from the Ashes After California’s devastating Rim Fire, will officials take the opportunity to give nature a chance to fully recover?