March 14, 2011
bald eagle

The recovery of the bald eagle from the brink of extinction is just one of many great ESA success stories.

Who supports the Endangered Species Act? Pretty much everyone.

That’s the take-home message from a recent national poll conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Endangered Species Coalition, of which Defenders is a member. Results showed VERY strong support for the ESA, protecting wolves and making wildlife decisions based on science, not politics. And that support didn’t waiver across party or state lines.

At a time when wildlife protections are under assault both at the federal and state level, it’s important for our elected representatives to hear the voices of wildlife supporters loud and clear. Here are just a few of the key findings from the poll:

  • 92% of respondents agree that decisions about wildlife management and which animals need protection should be made by scientists, not politicians
  • 90% agree that the ESA has helped hundreds of species recover from the brink of extinction
  • 87% agree that the gray wolf is a vital part of America’s wilderness and natural heritage
  • 87% agree that the ESA is a successful safety net for protecting wildlife, plants, and fish from extinction
  • 78% agree that the ongoing recovery of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies could be one of America’s greatest wildlife success stories IF the Endangered Species Act is kept in place until science-based state management plans are approved

You can find complete topline results at

Defenders has been working hard to counter myriad attacks on the ESA, including legislation in the Continuing Budget Resolution and stand-alone provisions that would (1) strip protections for gray wolves across the country, (2) negate the expert opinion of government scientists and deprive California’s Bay Delta of a sustainable water supply, and (3) allow agribusiness to continue poisoning salmon stocks in the Pacific Northwest.

According to these latest poll results, the vast majority of Americans are saying they do not want to sacrifice native wildlife for short-term political gain. Our nation is currently facing serious political challenges, but standing up for imperiled wildlife shouldn’t be one of them.

Follow Defenders of Wildlife