Delays in Endangered Species Act Protections Lead to Extinctions
Nowicki, Brian, Earth Island Journal
By 1968, it was well known that the Marshall's pearly mussel, a distinctively colored freshwater mussel that lived in the Tombigbee River and its tributaries in Alabama and Mississippi, was highly imperiled due to river development and engineering projects. However, in a tragic case of political interference, the federal government did not place the pearly mussel on the endangered species list until 1987, well after the enactment of the Endangered Species Act that is meant to protect species such as these--and a full seven years after the animal had become extinct.
It is one of many animals and plants that went extinct while the federal government delayed endangered species protections, according to a report recently released by the Center for Biological Diversity. The report found that 108 animals and plants are known to have become extinct since the creation of the Endangered Species Act in 1973, including 83 plants and animals for which endangered species protections were significantly delayed.
Together, these species' stories document how the failure to implement the Endangered Species Act adequately and in a timely manner has allowed the extinction of many of these plants and animals. Some 25 of these became extinct in the first few years of the Endangered Species Act, before any protections had been implemented.
Twenty-nine others …
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Publication information: Article title: Delays in Endangered Species Act Protections Lead to Extinctions. Contributors: Nowicki, Brian - Author. Magazine title: Earth Island Journal. Volume: 19. Issue: 3 Publication date: Autumn 2004. Page number: S6+. © 1999 Earth Island Institute. COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group.
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