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The Endangered Species Act. Get out your notebooks and answer the following questions?. Name 3 endangered species? What is a vector, in relation to invasive species? Give an example. How would you classify a species as being endangered and what should be done to protect these species?.

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The Endangered Species Act

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get out your notebooks and answer the following questions
Get out your notebooks and answer the following questions?
  • Name 3 endangered species?
  • What is a vector, in relation to invasive species? Give an example.
  • How would you classify a species as being endangered and what should be done to protect these species?
the endangered species act esa
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) :
  • A National law passed in 1973 that protects species that are in danger of extinction.
  • Species considered at risk of extinction are classified as either endangered, threatened, or candidate species.
how the esa classifies species
How the ESA classifies species…
  • Endangered- a species in immediate jeopardy of survival and reproduction.
  • Threatened- a species likely to become endangered.
  • Candidate Species- a species not on the ESA list, but still might need protection

Do you want to face Joe Pa if the mountain lion goes extinct?

what the goal of esa
What the Goal of ESA?
  • To boast populations to a self-sustaining level.
  • What does that mean?
  • In order to achieve the goal each species must have a recovery plan that determines what it needs to be delisted.
how does the esa work
How does the ESA work?
  • The best way to protect a species is usually through protecting habitat vital to its existence known as Critical Habitat (Determined by Dept. of Interior)
  • Once a species is listed, no branch of government can proceed with a project that might harm the organism.

Status of a species is review by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • Examples of species under ESA:
    • California condor, Florida panther, gray wolf, manatee
  • Some animals are in captive breeding programs (animals breed in a human protected environments to increase the population)
    • California condor, black footed ferret.
tellico dam what would you do
Tellico Dam: What would you do?
  • Read the passage individually.
  • With a partner answer the following questions on the back of the worksheet. You each need to write your own answers, but you may confer with your partner if you wish.
  • Make sure to answer the questions fully!!!

David Etnier

senator howard baker to the president
Senator Howard Baker to the President…
  • Mr. President, I hope this is the last time around. I hope we can resolve this issue once and for all, and I hope reason will finally prevail. . . .
  • Mr. President, the awful beast is back. The Tennessee snail darter, the bane of my existence, the nemesis of my golden years, the bold perverter of the Endangered Species Act is back.
  • He is still insisting that the Tellico Dam on the Little Tennessee River, a dam that is now 99% complete, be destroyed.
  • In the midst of a national energy crisis, the snail darter demands that we scuttle a project that would produce 200 million kilowatt hours of hydroelectric power and save an estimated 15 million gallons of oil.
  • Although other residences have been found in which he can thrive serenely, the snail darter stubbornly insists on keeping this particular stretch of the Little Tennessee River as his principal domicile. ...
  • Let me stress again, Mr. President, that this is fine with me. I have nothing personal against the snail darter. He seems to be quite a nice little fish, as fish go.
  • Now seriously Mr. President, the snail darter has become an unfortunate example of environmental extremism, and this kind of extremism, if rewarded and allowed to persist, will spell the doom to the environmental protection movement in this country more surely and more quickly than anything else. ...
  • We who voted for the Endangered Species Act with the honest intentions of protecting such glories of nature as the wolf, the eagle, and other treasures have found that extremists with wholly different motives are using this noble act for meanly obstructive ends. ...
what happened
What happened?
  • Snail Darter Relocated
  • The fish was found to be living in other streams
  • Delisted from ESA in 1980s...Doing Fine
  • Fish is happy, workers are happy, but people still lost their homes 
the god squad
The God Squad…
  • The 1978 amendment to the ESA "attempts to retain the basic integrity of the ESA, while introducing some flexibility which will permit exemptions from the Act's stringent requirements.“
  • The most important change that was brought about by the 1978 amendment was the creation of the Endangered Species Committee, known as the "God Squad" because of the substantial impact of its decisions on the natural world.
  • The God Squad is a committee composed of seven Cabinet-level members: The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the administrator of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, a representative from the state in question, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Army, and the Secretary of the Interior.
  • This committee has the authority to allow the exemption by exempting a federal agency from Section 7 requirements.
  • To exempt a species, five of the seven members must vote in favor of the exemption.The following conditions must be met for a species to be considered for exemption:
    • There must be no reasonable alternative to the agencies action
    • The benefits of the action must outweigh the benefits of an alternative action where the species is conserved
    • The action is of regional or national importance
    • Neither the federal agency or the exemption applicant made irreversible commitment to the resources.
    • Also, mitigation efforts must be taken to reduce the negative effects on the endangered species.
changes to esa
Changes to ESA…
  • Under ESA, a project may not take place that can harm a protected organism or its critical habitat; however, many federal projects are allowed to continue.
    • Snail Darter and Tellico Dam (pg 73)
    • Desert Tortoise pg. 80
  • ESA is a powerful land law which has been abused to stop unwanted development.
  • ESA does require a balancing of species protection with economic development.
habitat conservation plan
Habitat Conservation Plan
  • 1983-"minimize and mitigate" the impact of the permitted take on the listed species.
  • The principle is that some individuals of a species or portions of their habitat may be expendable over the short term, as long as enough protection is provided to ensure the long term recovery of the species.
  • Allows for Incidental Take, which is a certain number of the animal may be taken if otherwise lawful activities are occurring
the numbers
The Numbers
  • Over 1200 species protected by the ESA
  • 9 species listed have gone extinct.
  • 15 on the list have completely recovered.
    • Bald Eagle, American Alligator, Peregrine Falcon
  • 256 candidate species waiting to be listed due to lack of time and money (there may be many more out there)
  • 34 went extinct during the 80’s waiting to be listed
critisisms of the esa
Critisisms of the ESA…
  • Law has been abused for other agendas*
  • Some species receive all the attention and money

Cal. Condor - $25 milSpotted Owl – 16.8 mil.

3. Some say that we should focus on ecosystems instead of species.

causes of endangerment
Causes of Endangerment
  • 1) Loss of Habitat (main cause) - as the human population grows, there is less habitat for all other species.
  • 2) Human exploitation - hunting, trapping, etc.
    • Example: wolf, ocelot.
    • Poaching - illegal hunting, is a problem in other countries (lions, tigers, elephants)
  • 3) Introduced species

A) Out compete for space and resources

B) Overgrazing by livestock

C) Disease carried by other organisms

*** Extinction is a natural process but greatly accelerated by humans.