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Posts Tagged "endangered species act"

Extinction Countdown

Endangered Manatees Face a New Threat: Lawsuits

manatee

What do manatees and bureaucracy have in common? They both have a tendency to move slowly—sometimes painfully slowly. In Florida manatees’ own lethargy puts the animals at risk of being killed or injured by the speedboats that zip through the state’s waterways. Sluggish bureaucracy, meanwhile, has created an opportunity for groups who oppose the manatees’ [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Pygmy Sloths Could Gain Much-Needed Endangered Species Protection

pygmy three toed sloth

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) last week announced that the world’s rarest and smallest sloth could deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act (pdf). The Pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) lives only on the tiny Isla Escudo de Veraguas off the coast of Panama and is probably one of the rarest mammals in [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Flower Power: Collaboration Keeps Rare Plant off the Endangered Species List

Georgia aster

Fifteen years ago the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) acknowledged that a rare plant called the Georgia aster (Symphyotrichum georgianum) deserved and needed protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Unfortunately, a lot of other species also needed protection—some of them much more urgently. As such, the Georgia aster was determined to be a [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Unusual Night Lizard Returns after Eradication of Invasive Species

Island Night Lizard

A rare reptile found only on a few islands off the California coast has become the latest species to recover and leave the protection of the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported this week. The island night lizard (Xantusia riversiana) originally faced threats from nonnative species such as goats, pigs and [...]

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Extinction Countdown

The Long, Strange Saga of the Endangered Hawaiian Hawk

hawaiian hawk

The National Wilderness Institute no longer exists. Its Web site has disappeared, its phone number has been disconnected and the founder has moved on to become a senior advisor for the conservative Heritage Foundation. But the legacy of the organization, founded in part to attempt to repeal the Endangered Species Act, lives on. Back in [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Lawsuit to Remove Plant from Endangered Species List Completely Backfires

Indian Knob

Oh what a difference a few years makes. Just four years ago, the rare California shrub known as the Indian Knob mountain balm (Eriodictyon altissimum) was poised to drop off the endangered species list after the threats to its existence had mostly been abated. This week, however, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decided [...]

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Extinction Countdown

How Much Did the U.S. Spend on the Endangered Species Act in 2012?

steller sea lions

It cost a little bit more to protect endangered species in 2012 than it did in 2011. If you’re a regular Extinction Countdown reader, that probably doesn’t surprise you. For one thing, everything seemed to cost more last year. But more importantly, the threats that endangered species faced in 2012 were worse than ever. The [...]

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Extinction Countdown

The 5 Biggest Myths about the Endangered Species Act

bald eagle

This December will mark the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), a vital piece of legislation that has been called one of the world’s most effective environmental laws. But despite four decades of successes, the ESA remains poorly understood. Here are five of the biggest myths and misconceptions surrounding the law. Myth [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Rare Tree, Dependent on Fire, to Leave Endangered Species List

Santa Cruz cypress

Natural forest fires were once an important part of the life cycle of the Santa Cruz cypress, a rare tree that today exists in just five mountainous groves in California. Fires cleared out competing plants from around the trees and, crucially, the heat caused their cones to release their seeds—the main way the species reproduces. [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Endangered Plants for Sale Online: Are They Legal?

Pritchardia remota

Did you know that it is often legal to buy and sell endangered species of plants through the mail? It’s true. Take, for example, the rare Hawaiian palm tree Pritchardia remota, one of several species collectively known as lou’lu. The tree, like many in its genus, is listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species [...]

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