Last weak, the Trump administration added some rollbacks to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), reducing regulations. It's now easier to de-list species and when a species merits protection under the ESA, the government can now conduct economic assessments. They have also banned blanket protections for newly-listed threatened species.
We are in the middle of what scientists are calling the Sixth Mass Extinction. Although this time, the mass extinction is being caused by human threats such as encroachment, development, deforestation, fisheries, hunting and poaching, habitat loss and climate change. According to a recently released report from the U.N., an estimated one million plant and animal species are at the verge of extinction.
The Endangered Species Act began in 1973, when President Nixon signed it into law. The ESA has saved 99 % of species listed from extinction. Nonetheless, we cannot afford these changes.
The ESA protects more then 1,600 species in the U.S. and its territories.
Several environmentalist groups have already sued the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“Trump’s rules are a dream-come-true for polluting industries and a nightmare for endangered species,” said Noah Greenwald, Endangered Species Director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Scientists around the world are sounding the alarm about extinction, but the Trump administration is removing safeguards for the nation’s endangered species. We’ll do everything in our power to stop these rules from going forward."
Bats, grizzly bears, Caribou, Beavers, Gray wolves, seals, squirrels, condors, owls and woodpeckers are a handful of American species listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that are currently endangered and need protection.