Pros and Cons of the Endangered Species Act


What are the pros and cons of the endangered species act. When I first saw this question I thought how something that is set up to help protect endangered animals has its cons; after researching it made me remember nothing is the perfect system and there are faults in everything. The endangered species list is set up to protect animals, so they are able to repopulate without the threat of other factors. There are many positive aspects of this act, but there are also many negatives.

The Main issues that many people struggle with when regarding this topic is the cost and harsh restrictions regarding the animals. In August ,22nd, 2019; PBS.org  reported that  “Federal and state agencies spent $1.5 billion on endangered and threatened species in fiscal year 2016” (PBS NewsHour & Frazee, 2019). The citia for the animals to get on the endangered species list can be quite strict. As reported by NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION- U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE “A species is classified as endangered when its population has declined between 50 and 70 percent. ... A species is classified as endangered when its population is restricted to less than 250 mature individuals. When a species' population is this low, its area of occupancy is not considered” (NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION | U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, 2020). With this being said the cost and the restrictions make it very difficult to justify the resources and strict rule placements placed on the animals; When the number shows that only a fourth of the animals are able to make it off the list. This causes many to look at the lack of progress and wonder if there are other alternatives. 

Within the rule of the endangered species list it states that the environment in which the animal lives in is also protected. In turn this helps the environment when the endangered species is found within that area, you are no longer allowed to make changes or build on the habitat. This helps because it limits the pollution and destroying of the environment. According to the Endangered Species Coalition “Healthy ecosystems depend on plant and animal species as their foundations. When a species becomes endangered, it is a sign that the ecosystem is slowly falling apart.” (The Endangered Species Coalition, 2020) The species starting to die off is a sign that the environment is not working and the changes that are happening around them are affecting their living. So in order to fix the damage it's up to the human population to reverse the effects they have caused, which in turn will help the environment while simultaneously helping the species. When an animal goes on the list this brings awareness to the world of ‘Hey there's something that is not right here’. This shifts the dynamic and responsibility to others. Aside from the preservation of animals and nature, this law also provides a range of new wildlife parks that people can visit. This allows people to go and see the animals that are being protected in their natural habitat and feel proud that they are making it possible. The U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt  with the  U.S. The Department of the Interior reports that, “that 53.6 million people visited national wildlife refuges in 2017, which had an economic impact of $3.2 billion on local communities and supported more than 41,000 jobs.” (U.S. Department of the Interior et al., 2019) This provieds funding for the Endragnders speices Act while also stimulating the economy and providing jobs. 

The Endangered Species Act was put into effect with truthful intentions by the Nixon administration to save the world’s animals, plants and environments. It has been highly successful in many cases and has continued to work on protecting nature and its beauty. However, based on the pros and cons presented above, is it really the right law to implement to manage and take care of the animal populations? By weighing them down, you can informatively determine the right path to take. Are there things that need fixed or do the pros outway the cons. There are definitely needs on both sides and great points supported in both cases. The cost is high but with a 99 percent effective rate according to The World WildLife Fund (World Wildlife Fund. WWF, 2021), the 40,000 plus jobs and 3.2 billion dollars parks generate, the overwhelming view of the positions is yes.

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