Conserve Wildlife Blog

Celebrating 50 Years of the Endangered Species Act

January 2nd, 2024

by Meaghan Lyon, Wildlife Biologist

This year, we celebrate fifty years of one of the most critical conservation laws in the United States.  On December 28th, 1973 the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed by Congress.  The ESA has prevented 99% of all fish, wildlife, and plants under its protection from going extinct – an incredible feat.  Scientists estimate more than 200 at risk species would have gone extinct if not for the development of the ESA.  The ESA provides a legal framework to conserve and protect listed species and has safeguarded the biodiversity across the nation, supported the recovery of imperiled species, and conserved the critical habitats they depend on.

Piping plovers are just one at-risk species listed under the ESA.

Currently there are over 1,600 endangered and threatened species listed under the ESA in the United States.  Once a species is listed, a full range of protections available under the ESA goes into effect, including prohibitions on killing, harming, or otherwise “taking” a species.  To see a complete list of listed vertebrates and invertebrates click the button below:

The ESA is fundamental to our work at Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey and has allowed us to be better ambassadors for New Jersey’s threatened and endangered wildlife.

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