Protect the Endangered Species Act
What's At Stake
The world is experiencing a biodiversity crisis. More than 2,300 species—in the United States and abroad—are counting on the Endangered Species Act to survive.
From the iconic grizzly bear to the beluga whale to the bald eagle, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been crucial in protecting the survival of imperiled wildlife. In fact, more than 99 percent of species covered under the ESA have been saved from extinction.
But as things stand today, leading scientists predict that one million species face extinction within mere decades. Habitat destruction and the impacts of climate change have accelerated the rate of biodiversity loss—and this crisis will surely continue unless immediate action is taken to strengthen the ESA.
That’s why, when the Trump administration weakened critical wildlife protections in favor of more oil and gas development and other destructive industries, NRDC and our partners took it to court. This legal action is ongoing and the fight to fully restore the ESA is far from over. While the Biden administration has moved to repeal some rollbacks, it has failed to quickly and fully mend the damages—action that is urgently needed if we are to stem the biodiversity crisis. NRDC lawyers and advocates are fighting to not only restore this critical law but are also actively working to gain protections for keystone species like the rusty-patched bumblebee and the gray wolf.
We need the ESA—and we need this bedrock conservation law to be fully enacted and permanently protected from political interference.
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The number of countries that have ratified the Convention on Migratory Species treaty, helping enhance protections for mainland Asian elephants, jaguars, smooth hammerhead and oceanic white tip sharks, the great Indian bustard, and others.
The Fish and Wildlife Service's recent changes to the rules implementing the ESA aims to undermine how, and how often, critical habitat can be used to help listed species recover. The impact could be profound.
The year the Endangered Species Act was enacted
The ESA is an extraordinarily successful law. The vast majority of species that get listed under it are still with us today. It’s incredibly rare for one of them to go extinct.
The number of legislative proposals introduced since 2015 that would undermine the Endangered Species Act
The estimated number of remaining North Atlantic right whales—the most endangered whale in the world