Endangered Species Act is Endangered

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been much in the news lately. A valuable tool to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitat, the ESA protects over 21 species in Alaska alone, from the Aleutian shield fern to the polar bear.

The ESA stands as bedrock environmental law for nearly 50 years, and is credited with the rebound of the bald eagle, the grizzly bear, the humpback whale among other plant and animal species. 

Despite this, in 2019 the Trump administration finalized changes to the Endangered Species Act that greatly weakens its protections, allowing for actions that lead to the gradual destruction of a listed species, as long as each step is sufficiently modest. This glaring loophole violates the very spirit of the Act, and countless organizations have risen up in protest, taking legal actions to protect the ESA. 

Alaska’s Endangered Species:

  • Aleutian Shield Fern
  • Blue Whale
  • Bowhead Whale
  • Cook Inlet Beluga Whale
  • Eskimo Curlew
  • Fin Whale
  • Humpback Whale
  • Sei Whale
  • North Pacific Right Whale
  • Leatherback Sea Turtle
  • Short-Tailed Albatross
  • Sperm Whale
  • Stellar Sea Lion

Alaska’s Threatened Species:

  • Green Sea Turtle
  • Loggerhead Sea Turtle
  • Northern Sea Otter
  • Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
  • Polar Bear
  • Spectacled Eider
  • Steller’s Eider
  • Wood Bison

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