Individuals can help us by telling others, by being involved in the Earth Blog, by sharing your ideas with us and by forwarding your support to companies who you think should get involved!
New Study Compares Endangered Species Lists
There was some bad news out of the University of Adelaide in Australia yesterday for approximately 531 species of American birds, mammals, and a slew of other creatures. A new study by the university’s Environment Institute and School of Earth & Environmental Sciences has found that a significant number of American species aren’t on the protection list compiled under the laws of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). However, the species are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. When researchers compared the two lists, the ESA list and the red list, the disparity was found. The findings have been published in the most recent issue of Conservation Letters.
Since 1966 there has been several forms of legislation passed to protect and conserve endangered species and their habitats. In 1973 President Richard Nixon demanded an overhaul of the insufficient laws in place and signed the ESA at the end of December of that year. The act details the process the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association uses to carry out the ESA’s ultimate goal of conservation.
The IUCN is an international union of scientists, environmental experts and organizations working towards "pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges”. The IUCN has a process just as rigorous and detailed as the ESA’s in deciding which species are in need of help and what category to place them on their red list which they began compiling in 1963.
The study also compared where the red list categorized three types of bird species: Kittlitz's murrelet as “critically endangered”, the ashy storm-petrel as “endangered”, and the cerulean warbler as“vulnerable” versus the ESA list where they were not placed at all.
So is one list better than the other? Should the ESA abandon its list and look to the red list in deciding which species to assist? The red list is global as opposed to the ESA which is focused (but not entirely) on the United States. Both are comprehensive and effective in their own right.
The study’s leader Bert Harris says, "The ESA has protected species since its establishment in 1973, and it may have prevented 227 extinctions. However, the implementation of the ESA by successive US governments has been problematic, including poor coverage of imperilled species, inadequate funding, and political intervention.”
He goes on to say that, "Vague definitions of 'endangered' and 'threatened' and the existence of a 'warranted but precluded' category on the ESA list are also contributing to the gap in species classification.”
There are certainly ESA success stories like the grizzly bear and gray wolf. But when it comes to conservation in all of its forms, vigilance and the ability to change laws and procedures effectively will remain key in caring for the world.
1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.
1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.
2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.