The Endangered Species Act: What's at Stake?

© Janko FerlicThe Endangered Species Act is America’s most effective law for protecting wildlife in danger of extinction and it is under unprecedented attack by the Trump administration and members of Congress. Ninety-nine percent of listed species have survived and many more have been set on a path to recovery, including the iconic gray wolf, the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and the Florida manatee.

We are experiencing a sixth mass extinction and incomparable habitat destruction, and we should be working to strengthen, not weaken, our nation’s best conservation. Compared to fossil record, humans have sped up the extinction rate by about a thousand times. Wildlife populations have already declined by more than half since 1970, and we could lose up to 75% of all species in the coming centuries. 

The Endangered Species Act is our last line of defense for staving off extinction.

The Trump/Zinke Extinction Plan

The administration’s Extinction Plan is an unprecedented attack on wildlife that would:

  • Wrongly inject economics into what should be purely science-based decisions about listing imperiled species.
  • Deprive threatened species from automatically receiving protections from killing, trapping, and other forms of harm and commercial exploitation.
  • Further imperil endangered species by blinding federal agencies to the broad consequences of their actions and limit what wildlife experts can look at in their reviews of federal activities.
The fight to save endangered species is here! At a time of unprecedented wildlife extinction and habitat destruction, we should be working to strengthen, not weaken, the Endangered Species Act, our nation’s best tool for helping to stave off the tragedy of extinction. Let us not be the generation that bears witness to extinction and does nothing to stop it. Defenders of Wildlife is not backing down from this crucial fight. What we’re fighting for is simply too important to lose." - Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife
Gray Wolf - Sarah Abrell
Photo: © Sarah Abrell

Tell the Trump administration: Hands off the ESA!

Take Action

More Actions You Can Take

  1. 1. Take it to Social Media

    Share our action page on social media.

    The fight to save endangered species is here! The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is under unprecedented attack by the administration & members of Congress. At a time of widespread wildlife extinction and habitat destruction, we should be working to strengthen, not weaken, the ESA, our nation’s best tool for helping to stave off the tragedy of extinction. Defenders of Wildlife is not backing down from this crucial fight. Join us! The fight to save endangered species is here! The #EndangeredSpeciesAct is under unprecedented attack by the Trump administration & members of Congress. @Defenders is not backing down from this crucial fight. Join us!

  2. 2. Write a letter-to-the-editor

    Write a letter or an op-ed of support to your local newspaper. Contact Deanna Steege, Director of National Outreach, at dsteege@defenders.org

  3. 3. Support our efforts

    Your donation will help Defenders fight to keep the ESA intact and profile the wildlife we cherish

  4. 4. Tell the Department of Interior: Hands off the ESA!

    Take action and speak out for the Endangered Species Act during the comment period

  5. 5. Sign Up

    Don’t miss your chance to defend wildlife from extinction. Sign up for our email list to get the latest news about imperiled animals and how you can act to help them survive.

  6. 6. Become a Citizen Advocate

    Today, more than ever, endangered wildlife need more champions to fight for them! Join our team of citizen advocates to become a voice for endangered species.

  7. 7. Rally to Save the Endangered Species Act

    Stand together with wildlife enthusiasts, Defenders staff, congressional wildlife champions, scientists, religious leaders and other allied voices to say enough is enough on Wednesday, September 12th!