Support Extends Across Political Party and Geographic Location

“These polling results only further illuminate the glaring disconnect between strong public support for the Endangered Species Act and actions of some members of Congress who seek to weaken this highly effective law in direct contrast with the interests of their constituents,"

Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife
Washington, DC

New Defenders of Wildlife poll shows the vast majority of Americans, regardless of political party, continue to support the Endangered Species Act as it marks its 50th anniversary. In sharp contrast, this Congress is on track to be one of the worst on record for its treatment of the ESA, with anti-wildlife members proposing some 50 legislative proposals just this year to undermine the ESA.

The proposals include measures to block essential ESA protections, to delist or downlist species like the gray wolf, grizzly bear and lesser prairie-chicken that are in need of ESA protections and funding. The ESA currently receives less than half of the funds needed for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to fully implement species protections and recovery efforts.  

“These polling results only further illuminate the glaring disconnect between strong public support for the Endangered Species Act and actions of some members of Congress who seek to weaken this highly effective law in direct contrast with the interests of their constituents,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife. “Congress needs to remove their blinders and see the biodiversity crisis happening before their very eyes. Congress needs to listen to the public support for the Endangered Species Act, not undermine it with political interference, chronic underfunding and shortsightedness.” 

Poll results demonstrate:

  • 84% of Americans support the Endangered Species Act.  
  • 80% of Americans support fully funding the Endangered Species Act. 
  • 70% of Americans believe that listing-decisions should be made by scientists not politicians.  
  • 73% of Americans agree that biodiversity is important to their everyday lives.
  • 67% of Americans believe that protecting biodiversity should be a national priority.   
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ESA Poll Results 2023

The poll was conducted by Real Clear Politics during the month of September and included 1,000 registered voters. It has a margin of error of 3%.   

The Endangered Species Act is our nation’s greatest tool to protect biodiversity and has a near perfect track record of preventing extinction of the plants and animals that it protects. More than 2,000 species are currently listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA, ranging from the Red Wolf with a population of barely more than a dozen in the wild, to the lesser-known American burying beetle and the Hay’s spring amphipod, which is found only in Washington, D.C.

You Can Take ACTION to Protect the Endangered Species Act

 

Defenders of Wildlife is celebrating 75 years of protecting all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With a nationwide network of nearly 2.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

Media Contact

Communications Specialist
hhammer@defenders.org
(202) 772-0295

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