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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about... It's been 25 years since the Endangered Species Act became law.


CURWOOD: It's been 25 years since the Endangered Species Act became law. It requires a Secretary of Interior to list species in danger of extinction. And then, the US Fish and Wildlife Service must develop a recovery plan. In 1998, their budget of $90 million to do that was smaller than the amount needed to construct 4 miles of interstate highway. Success stories include the bald eagle and the California condor. But other birds, like Bachman's warbler and the ivory-billed woodpecker are gone forever. Today, more than 1,100 species are listed as threatened or endangered, half of them flowering plants. Loss of habitat is the greatest cause of plant and animal extinction. One oddity of the Endangered Species Act, in certain lawsuits such as marbled murrelet vs. Pacific Lumber Company and loggerhead turtle vs. County Council, the species themselves are the plaintiffs. Who said animals don't have rights? And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



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