Working Toward Species Conservation

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Endangered species have different needs and require different conservation measures. Some fish are endangered only because of a history of overfishing. Halting or reducing fishing is sufficient for population recovery. In most cases, however, more active forms of intervention are necessary. The single most important conservation measure for many threatened and endangered species is habitat conservation or restoration. For some species, captive breeding followed by reintroduction into the wild may help increase numbers. In all cases, knowledge of the natural history of endangered species is essential to acquiring a better understanding of species' needs, as well as to the development of measures that will aid in conservation.


Conservation has a long history. One of the oldest examples dates from 242 b.c.e. ("before the common era"), when the Indian emperor Asoka created nature reserves in Asia. Marco Polo reported that the Asian ruler Kublai Khan (a.d. 1215–1294) helped conserve bird and mammal species valued for hunting by banning hunting during their reproductive periods. He also helped to increase their numbers by planting food and providing protected cover areas. In South America, during the reign of the Inca kings, many species of seabirds were protected.

By the mid-nineteenth century many governments had developed an interest in wildlife conservation and an awareness of the need to protect natural habitats. In 1861 painters of the Barbizon school established the first French nature reserve, which covered nearly 3,458 acres of forest at Fontainebleau. Three years later the American government set aside the Yosemite Valley in California as a National Reserve. This became Yosemite National Park in 1890. Wyoming's Yellowstone Park was created in 1872 and became the first U.S. National Park.

Organizations and laws dedicated to the protection of species soon followed. In 1895 the first international meeting for the protection of birds was held in Paris, and resulted in new laws protecting species in several countries. The first international conference for the protection of nature was held in 1913. The International Whaling Commission was established in 1946, and two years later, The World Conservation Union (IUCN) was founded as the International Union for the Protection of Nature. (In 1956 that organization became the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, or IUCN. In 1990 the name was shortened to IUCN-The World Conservation Union.) In 1961 a private conservation organization, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), was founded. The Chinese giant panda was selected as the WWF symbol, not only because of the animal's great popularity, but also to reaffirm the international character of nature conservation, and to emphasize the independence of wildlife conservation from political differences. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), an international treaty established to regulate commerce in wildlife, was first ratified in 1975 in an attempt to block both the import and export of endangered species and to regulate international trade in threatened species.

In the U.S., Congress passed the Endangered Species Preservation Act in 1966, and the first species were listed in 1967. (See Table 2.1.) This established a process for listing species as endangered and provided some measure of protection. The Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969 provided protection to species facing worldwide extinction, prohibiting their import and sale within the U.S.


The Endangered Species Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1973. It is generally considered one of the most far-reaching laws ever enacted by any nation for the preservation of wildlife. The passage of the Endangered Species Act resulted from alarm at the decline of numerous species

• Indiana bat—Myotis sodalis• Laysan finchbill (Laysan Finch)—Psittirostra c. cantans
• Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel—Sciurus niger cinereus• Nihoa finchbill (Nihoa Finch)—Psittirostra cantans ultima
• Timber wolf—Canis lupus lycaon• Ou—Psittirostra psittacea
• Red wolf—Canis niger• Palila—Psittirostra bailleui
• San Joaquin kit fox—Vulpes macrotis mutica• Maui parrotbill—Pseudonestor xanthophyrys
• Grizzly bear—Ursus horribilis• Bachman's warbler—Vermivora bachmanii
• Black-footed ferret—Mustela nigripes• Kirtland's warbler—Dendroica kirtlandii
Florida pantherFelis concolor coryi• Dusky seaside sparrow—Ammospiza nigrescens
• Caribbean monk seal—Monachus tropicalis• Cape Sable sparrow—Ammospiza mirabilis
• Guadalupe fur seal—Arctocephalus philippi townsendi
• Florida manatee or Florida sea cow—Trichechus manatus latirostrisReptiles and Amphibians
• Key deer—Odocoileus virginianus clavium• American alligator—Alligator mississippiensis
• Sonoran pronghorn—Antilocapra americana sonoriensis• Blunt-nosed leopard lizard—Crotaphytus wislizenii silus
San Francisco garter snakeThamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia
BirdsSanta Cruz long-toed salamander—Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum
• Hawaiian dark-rumped petrel—Pterodroma phaeopygia sandwichensis• Texas blind salamander—Typhlomolge rathbuni
• Hawaiian goose (nene)—Branta sandvicensis• Black toad, Inyo County toad—Bufo exsul
• Aleutian Canada gooseBranta canadensis leucopareia
• Tule white-fronted goose—Anser albifrons gambelliFishes
• Laysan duck—Anas laysanensis• Shortnose sturgeon—Acipenser brevirostrum
• Hawaiian duck (or koloa)—Anas wyvilliana• Longjaw cisco—Coregonus alpenae
• Mexican duck—Anas diazi• Paiute cutthroat trout—Salmo clarki seleniris
• California condor—Gymnogyps californianus• Greenback cuttthroat trout—Salmo clarki stomias
• Florida Everglade kite (Florida Snail Kite)—Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus• Montana Westslope cutthroat trout—Salmo clarki
• Hawaiian hawk (or ii)—Buteo solitarius• Gila trout—Salmo gilae
• Southern bald eagleHaliaeetus t. leucocephalus• Arizona (Apache) trout—Salmo sp
• Attwater's greater prairie chicken—Tympanuchus cupido attwateri• Desert dace—Eremichthys acros
• Masked bobwhite—Colinus virginianus ridgwayi• Humpback chub—Gila cypha
Whooping craneGrus americana• Little Colorado spinedace—Lepidomeda vittata
• Yuma clapper rail—Rallus longirostris yumanensis• Moapa dace—Moapa coriacea
• Hawaiian common gallinule—Gallinula chloropus sandvicensis• Colorado River squawfish—Ptychocheilus lucius
• Eskimo curlew—Numenius borealis• Cui-ui—Chasmistes cujus
• Puerto Rican parrot—Amazona vittata• Devils Hole pupfish—Cyprinodon diabolis
• American ivory-billed woodpecker—Campephilus p. principalis• Commanche Springs pupfish—Cyprinodon elegans
• Hawaiian crow (or alala)—Corvus hawaiiensis• Owens River pupfish—Cyprinodon radiosus
• Small Kauai thrush (puaiohi)—Phaeornia pulmeri• Pahrump killifish—Empetrichythys latos
• Nihoa millerbird—Acrocephalus kingi• Big Bend gambusia—Gambusia gaigei
• Kauai oo (or oo aa)—Moho braccatus• Clear Creek gambusia—Gambusia heterochir
• Crested honeycreeper (or akohekohe)—Palmeria dolei• Gila topminnow—Poeciliopsis occidentalis
• Akiapolaau—Hemignathus wilsoni• Maryland darter—Etheostoma sellare
• Kauai akialoa—Hemignathus procerus• Blue pike—Stizostedion vitreum glaucum
• Kauai nukupuu—Hemignathus lucidus hanapepe
source: Stewart L. Udall, "Native Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species," in Federal Register, vol. 32, no. 48, March 11, 1967

worldwide, as well as from a recognition of the importance of preserving species diversity. The purpose of the Endangered Species Act is to identify species that are either endangered—at risk of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their range—or threatened—likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. With the exception of pest species, all animals and plants are eligible for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Listed species are protected without regard to either commercial or sport value.

The Endangered Species Act is administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The U.S. Department of Commerce, through the National Marine Fisheries Service, is responsible for marine species.

The Endangered Species List

After passage of the Endangered Species Act, the Fish and Wildlife Service was inundated with petitions for the listing of species—approximately 24,000 petitions were received in the first two years after passage. As of February 2004, there are 985 U.S. species (388 animals and 597 plants) and 517 foreign species (516 animals and 1 plant) listed as endangered, and 275 U.S. (128 animals and 147 plants) and 41 foreign species (39 animals and 2 plants) listed as threatened. Thousands of other species are being studied to see if they need to be added to the list.

The Listing Process

The process for listing a new species as endangered or threatened begins with a formal petition from a person or organization. (Figure 2.1 diagrams the petition process.) This petition is submitted to the Fish and Wildlife Service for terrestrial and freshwater species and to the National Marine Fisheries Service for marine species. All petitions must be backed by published scientific data supporting the need for listing. Within 90 days, the Fish and Wildlife Service or National Marine Fisheries Service determines whether there is "substantial information" to suggest that a species requires being listed under the Endangered Species Act. Approximately 65 percent of petitions for species are found to have substantial information to warrant further study, whereas 35 percent do not.

For petitions that present biological data suggesting that listing may be necessary, the Fish and Wildlife Service or National Marine Fisheries Service then performs a status review to determine whether listing is warranted. This process must be completed within 12 months. In the past, over half the petitions warrant action. Once it has been determined that action on a species is warranted, that species becomes a candidate species. Candidate species may immediately join the list of proposed species. However, in some cases, it may be decided that other candidate species have higher priority. If this is the case, the species is designated as "warranted but precluded," that is, immediate action is precluded by more urgent listing activity. Species that are listed as "warranted but precluded" are re-evaluated annually to confirm that listing continues to be warranted. These species continue to be re-evaluated until they either join the list of proposed species or until their status has improved sufficiently that they are no longer warranted for listing.

A species is officially proposed for listing through the publication of this action in the Federal Register. At this point, the Fish and Wildlife Service asks three independent biological experts to verify that the petitioned species requires listing under either threatened or endangered status. After that, input from the public, from other federal and state agencies, and from the scientific community is welcomed. This period of public comment lasts 60 days. Following the sixty-day period, the final rule regarding listing of the species is published in the Federal Register, and listing is effective thirty days after publication.

Figure 2.2 shows the number of species proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act by state as of February 19, 2004, and these species are listed in Table 2.2. There were thirty-six U.S. proposed species in February 2004. (Three of these were proposed as threatened rather than endangered.) The Fish and Wildlife Service also keeps a list of candidate species (those for which there is scientific evidence warranting their proposal for listing, but which have yet to become proposed species). The Fish and Wildlife Service works with state wildlife agencies and other groups to help preserve and improve the status of candidate species, with the hope that populations may recover enough that species will not require listing. In February 2004 there were 256 U.S. candidate species recognized by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Figure 2.3 shows the number of candidate species per state.

After a species is listed, its condition and situation are reviewed at least every five years to decide whether it still requires government protection. Once the species is able to survive without government protection, it may be removed from the list.

Conserving Listed Species

Conservation efforts for protected species begin with the preparation of a recovery plan by the Fish and Wildlife Service that details how the species will be protected and helped to thrive. This report also includes the estimated timeline for and cost of recovery. In many cases, recovery efforts include the designation of critical habitat—that is, areas of land, water, and air space that are used by threatened and endangered species for breeding, resting, and feeding. Critical habitat designation does not set up a refuge, and has no regulatory impact on private landowners unless they wish to take actions on their land that involve federal funding or permits. Species which have had critical habitat designated are listed in Table 2.3. For a small number of species, primarily mammals, birds, fish, and aquatic invertebrates, recovery efforts include the introduction of individuals into new areas. Species with so-called "experimental populations" are listed in Table 2.4.

The Endangered Species Act gives the government and its agencies the power to do whatever is necessary to protect a threatened or endangered species. However, budgetary constraints severely limit the action that can be taken. In 2004 the Fish and Wildlife Service had at its disposal $9.8 million for the conservation of candidate species, $12.1 million for listing activity, $47.1 million for consultations with federal and private agencies to resolve potential issues, and $67.9 million for the recovery of listed species. How best to use these funds is contentious. In fact, in 2000, 50 percent of recovery expenditures were used to conserve only seven species (0.6 percent of listed species), and 90 percent of recovery expenditures were used to conserve 91 listed species (7.4 percent of all listed species). This means that very little effort goes towards the conservation of the large majority of endangered and threatened species. The ten species with the highest reported expenditure for 1998–2000 are shown in Table 2.5.

The number of species being added to the federal threatened and endangered species list is likely to continue to grow. Although vertebrate species dominated the list during the first years of the act, plants and invertebrate animals now make up a much greater proportion of listed species. (See Table 1.2 in Chapter 1.) These species are

StatusSpecies name
PEAddax (Addax nasomaculatus)
PTBat, Mariana fruit (Mariana flying fox) (Pteropus mariannus mariannus)
PEDugong (Dugong dugon)
PEFox, San Miguel Island (Urocyon littoralis littoralis)
PEFox, Santa Catalina Island (Urocyon littoralis catalinae)
PEFox, Santa Cruz Island (Urocyon littoralis santacruzae)
PEFox, Santa Rosa Island (Urocyon littoralis santarosae)
PEGazelle, dama (Gazella dama)
PEOryx, scimitar-horned (Oryx dammah)
PEWhite-eye, Rota bridled (Zosterops rotensis)
PTSalamander, California tiger (Ambystoma californiense)
PEChub, Cowhead Lake tui (Gila bicolor vaccaceps)
PEChub, Gila (Gila intermedia)
PTSalmon, coho (Oncorhynchus (Salmo) kisutch)
PESturgeon, Beluga (Huso huso)
PESnail, Koster's tryonia (Tryonia kosteri)
PESnail, Pecos assiminea (Assiminea pecos)
PESpringsnail, Roswell (Pyrgulopsis roswellensis)
PEButterfly, Sacramento Mountains checkerspot (Euphydryas anicia cloudcrofti)
PEPomace fly, [unnamed] (Drosophila aglaia)
PEPomace fly, [unnamed] (Drosophila differens)
PEPomace fly, [unnamed] (Drosophila hemipeza)
PEPomace fly, [unnamed] (Drosophila heteroneura)
PEPomace fly, [unnamed] (Drosophila montgomeryi)
PEPomace fly, [unnamed] (Drosophila mulli)
PEPomace fly, [unnamed] (Drosophila musaphila)
PEPomace fly, [unnamed] (Drosophila neoclavisetae)
PEPomace fly, [unnamed] (Drosophila obatai)
PEPomace fly, [unnamed] (Drosophila ochrobasis)
PEPomace fly, [unnamed] (Drosophila substenoptera)
PEPomace fly, [unnamed] (Drosophila tarphytrichia)
PEAmphipod, Noel's (Gammarus desperatus)
Flowering plants
PEPeppergrass, Slick spot (Lepidium papilliferum)
PENesogenes rotensis (No common name)
PEOsmoxylon mariannense (No common name)
PETabernaemontana rotensis (No common name)
Note: Proposed species count is 36 (excludes proposed "similarity of appearance" and experimental populations)
PE = proposed endangered
PT = proposed threatened
source: "Proposed Species as of 02/10/2004," in Threatened and Endangered Species System (TESS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, 2004 [Online] [accessed February 10, 2004]

politically more difficult to defend than either mammals or birds, which are more inherently appealing to most Americans because of the "warm and fuzzy" factor. These circumstances raise questions about the continued feasibility of a species-by-species preservation strategy, and the Fish and Wildlife Service struggles under intense legal and political pressures to decide which species to protect first.

For its supporters, the Endangered Species Act has proved to be one of the most effective conservation laws ever enacted. Many Americans believe that the Endangered Species Act has saved many species from extinction. An estimated 40 percent of species on the list are either stable in population size or increasing in number. A few species have improved sufficiently to have their listing status changed. In Table 2.6, species whose status has been changed since listing under the Endangered Species Act are detailed. Many endangered species (E) have been reclassified as threatened (T), indicating that their status has improved since protection under the Endangered Species Act. Other species have declined in population, however, and have shifted from threatened to endangered.

Extinct, Recovered, and Down-Listed Species

Species may be removed from the Endangered Species List for three reasons:

  1. The species has become extinct.
  2. The species has recovered to such an extent that it is no longer threatened or endangered.
  3. The original information warranting listing has been shown to be incorrect, or new information suggests that the species is not actually endangered or threatened.

As of February 2004, thirty-seven species that were once on the Endangered Species List had been removed from the list, or delisted. These species are shown in Table 2.7, along with the reason for being delisted. Of the species delisted, seven were removed from the list because they went extinct (two more were believed extinct), fifteen species were delisted because they were considered recovered, and fifteen species were delisted either because the original data was in error, because new information had been discovered, or because of taxonomic revision. Reclassification has been proposed for another twelve species, shown in Table 2.8. This includes the proposed delisting of species such as the bald eagle due to recovery.

Habitat Conservation Plans

Endangered and threatened species live and roam wherever they find suitable habitat, without regard to whether the land is federal or non-federal, or public or private. Many landowners fear being denied free use of their land because of laws protecting the endangered species that inhabit it. Recognizing this concern, Congress amended the Endangered Species Act in 1982 to allow for the creation of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) governing land use or development. HCPs are generally partnerships drawn up by people at the local level, working with Fish and Wildlife Service officials. They frequently represent compromises between developers and environmentalists.

HCPs typically allow some individuals of a threatened or endangered species to be "taken" (harmed or killed) under a special authority called an incidental take permit. Included in the agreement is a "no surprise" provision that assures landowners or developers that the overall cost of species protection measures will be limited to what has been agreed to under the HCP. In return, landowners make a long-term commitment to conservation as negotiated in the HCP. Many HCPs include the preservation of significant areas of habitat for endangered species. In 2003 a lawsuit brought by Spirit of the Sage Council challenged the "no surprise" policy, arguing that it allowed for too much damage to endangered species. The "no surprise" policy is now being reconsidered in the courts.

Although the HCP program was implemented in 1982, it was little used before 1992, with only fourteen permits issued in that time period. However, by 2002, there were 380 plans in place. HCPs now affect over 200 listed plant and animal species on over 20 million acres of land. The Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a list of approved Habitat Conservation Plans with the locations of the sites as well as data on the listed and unlisted species involved. HCPs have become an necessary tool in the negotiation of endangered species conservation.

A Habitat Conservation Plan for San Diego County

In 1997, after more than a decade of debate and negotiation, environmentalists and developers settled upon an HCP—the "Multispecies Conservation Plan"—for San Diego County. It is regarded by some experts as a possible national model. Under the HCP, certain undeveloped sections of land were permanently set aside as protected natural habitat, while other areas were opened to unrestricted development. Setting aside a connected (rather than fragmented) area of protected natural habitat is a crucial aspect of this HCP. The plan affects some eighty-five species of vulnerable plants and animals. The "Multispecies Conservation Plan" pleased environmentalists because of the creation of a large, permanent preserve for species protection. Developers were pleased that unrestricted development could proceed without costly legal challenges by environmentalists in defined areas.

Desert Tortoises and the Washington County HCP

In Washington County, Utah, an HCP was developed in 1996 to bridge differences between developers and conservationists

StatusSpecies nameStatusSpecies name
EBat, Indiana (Myotis sodalis)TSalamander, San Marcos (Eurycea nana)
EBat, Virginia big-eared (Corynorhinus (=Plecotus) townsendii virginianus)EToad, arroyo (=arroyo southwestern) (Bufo californicus (=microscaphus))
EToad, Houston (Bufo houstonensis)
EKangaroo rat, Fresno (Dipodomys nitratoides exilis)Fishes
EKangaroo rat, Morro Bay (Dipodomys heermanni morroensis)
EKangaroo rat, San Bernardino Merriam's (Dipodomys merriami parvus)TCatfish, Yaqui (Ictalurus pricei)
ECavefish, Alabama (Speoplatyrhinus poulsoni)
EManatee, West Indian (Trichechus manatus)EChub, bonytail (Gila elegans)
EMouse, Alabama beach (Peromyscus polionotus ammobates)EChub, Borax Lake (Gila boraxobius)
EMouse, Choctawhatchee beach (Peromyscus polionotus allophrys)EChub, humpback (Gila cypha)
EMouse, Perdido Key beach (Peromyscus polionotus trissyllepsis)EChub, Owens tui (Gila bicolor snyderi)
TMouse, Preble's meadow jumping (Zapus hudsonius preblei)TChub, slender (Erimystax cahni)
ERice rat (lower Florida Keys) (Oryzomys palustris natator)TChub, Sonora (Gila ditaenia)
ESeal, Hawaiian monk (Monachus schauinslandi)TChub, spotfin Entire (Cyprinella monacha)
ESea-lion, Steller (western population) (Eumetopias jubatus)EChub, Virgin River (Gila seminuda (=robusta))
TSea-lion, Steller (eastern population) (Eumetopias jubatus)EChub, Yaqui (Gila purpurea)
ESheep, bighorn (Peninsular California population) (Ovis canadensis)EDace, Ash Meadows speckled (Rhinichthys osculus nevadensis)
ESquirrel, Mount Graham red (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis)TDace, desert (Eremichthys acros)
EVole, Amargosa (Microtus californicus scirpensis)EDarter, amber (Percina antesella)
EWhale, right (Balaena glacialis [including australis ])EDarter, fountain (Etheostoma fonticola)
TWolf, gray, eastern distinct population segment (Canis lupus)TDarter, leopard (Percina pantherina)
EDarter, Maryland (Etheostoma sellare)
BirdsTDarter, Niangua (Etheostoma nianguae)
EBlackbird, yellow-shouldered (Agelaius xanthomus)TDarter, slackwater (Etheostoma boschungi)
ECondor, California (U.S.A. only) (Gymnogyps californianus)EGambusia, San Marcos (Gambusia georgei)
ECrane, Mississippi sandhill (Grus canadensis pulla)EGoby, tidewater Entire (Eucyclogobius newberryi)
ECrane, whooping (except where XN) (Grus americana)ELogperch, Conasauga (Percina jenkinsi)
TEider, spectacled (Somateria fischeri)EMadtom, smoky Entire (Noturus baileyi)
TEider, Steller's (Alaska breeding population) (Polysticta stelleri)TMadtom, yellowfin (except where XN) (Noturus flavipinnis)
EElepaio, Oahu (Chasiempis sandwichensis ibidis)TMinnow, loach (Tiaroga cobitis)
EFlycatcher, southwestern willow (Empidonax traillii extimus)EMinnow, Rio Grande silvery (Hybognathus amarus)
TGnatcatcher, coastal California (Polioptila californica californica)EPikeminnow (=squawfish), Colorado (except Salt and Verde River drainages, Arizona) (Ptychocheilus lucius)
EKite, Everglade snail (Florida population) (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus)
TMurrelet, marbled (California, Oregon, Washington) (Brachyramphus marmoratus marmoratus)EPupfish, Ash Meadows Amargosa (Cyprinodon nevadensis mionectes)
EPupfish, desert (Cyprinodon macularius)
TOwl, Mexican spotted (Strix occidentalis lucida)EPupfish, Leon Springs (Cyprinodon bovinus)
TOwl, northern spotted (Strix occidentalis caurina)ESalmon, chinook (winter Sacramento River) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) tshawytscha)
EPalila (honeycreeper) (Loxioides bailleui)
EPlover, piping (Great Lakes watershed) (Charadrius melodus)ESalmon, chinook (spring upper Columbia River) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) tshawytscha)
TPlover, piping (except Great Lakes watershed) (Charadrius melodus)
TPlover, western snowy (Pacific coastal population) (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus)TSalmon, chinook (upper Willamette River) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) tshawytscha)
EPygmy-owl, cactus ferruginous (Arizona population) (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum)TSalmon, chinook (lower Columbia River) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) tshawytscha)
ESparrow, Cape Sable seaside (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis)TSalmon, chinook (spring/summer Snake River) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) tshawytscha)
TTowhee, Inyo California (Pipilo crissalis eremophilus)
EVireo, least Bell's (Vireo bellii pusillus)TSalmon, chinook (fall Snake River) (Oncorhynchus (Salmo) tshawytscha)
ReptilesTSalmon, chinook (California Central Valley spring-run) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) tshawytscha)
EAnole, Culebra Island giant (Anolis roosevelti)TSalmon, chinook (California coastal) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) tshawytscha)
TBoa, Mona (Epicrates monensis monensis)TSalmon, chinook (Puget Sound) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) tshawytscha)
ECooter (=turtle), northern redbelly (=Plymouth) (Pseudemys rubriventris bangsi)TSalmon, chum (summer-run Hood Canal) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) keta)
TSalmon, chum (Columbia River) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) keta)
ECrocodile, American (Crocodylus acutus)TSalmon, coho (Oregon, California population) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) kisutch)
EGecko, Monito (Sphaerodactylus micropithecus)
TIguana, Mona ground (Cyclura stejnegeri)ESalmon, sockeye U.S.A. (Snake River, Idaho stock wherever found) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) nerka)
TLizard, Coachella Valley fringe-toed (Uma inornata)
ELizard, St. Croix ground (Ameiva polops)TSalmon, sockeye U.S.A. (Ozette Lake, Washington) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) nerka)
TRattlesnake, New Mexican ridge-nosed (Crotalus willardi obscurus)
TSea turtle, green (except where endangered) (Chelonia mydas)TShiner, Arkansas River (Arkansas River Basin) (Notropis girardi)
ESea turtle, hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata)TShiner, beautiful (Cyprinella formosa)
ESea turtle, leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea)EShiner, Cape Fear (Notropis mekistocholas)
TSnake, Concho water (Nerodia paucimaculata)TShiner, Pecos bluntnose (Notropis simus pecosensis)
TTortoise, desert (U.S.A., except in Sonoran Desert) (Gopherus agassizii)TSilverside, Waccamaw (Menidia extensa)
TWhipsnake (=striped racer), Alameda (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus)TSmelt, delta (Hypomesus transpacificus)
AmphibiansTSpikedace (Meda fulgida)
TSpinedace, Big Spring (Lepidomeda mollispinis pratensis)
TCoqui, golden (Eleutherodactylus jasperi)TSpinedace, Little Colorado (Lepidomeda vittata)
TFrog, California red-legged (subspecies range clarified) (Rana aurora draytonii)ESpinedace, White River (Lepidomeda albivallis)
ESpringfish, Hiko White River (Crenichthys baileyi grandis)
StatusSpecies nameStatusSpecies name
FishesFlowering plants
TSpringfish, Railroad Valley (Crenichthys nevadae)E'Akoko (Chamaesyce kuwaleana)
ESpringfish, White River (Crenichthys baileyi baileyi)E'Akoko (Chamaesyce rockii)
ESteelhead (upper Columbia River Basin) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) mykiss)E'Akoko (Euphorbia haeleeleana)
ESteelhead (southern California coast) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) mykiss)EAlani (Melicope adscendens)
TSteelhead (middle Columbia River) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) mykiss)EAlani (Melicope balloui)
TSteelhead (upper Willamette River) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) mykiss)EAlani (Melicope haupuensis)
TSteelhead (central California coast) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) mykiss)EAlani (Melicope knudsenii)
TSteelhead (Snake River Basin) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) mykiss)EAlani (Melicope lydgatei)
TSteelhead (Central Valley California) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) mykiss)EAlani (Melicope mucronulata)
TSteelhead (lower Columbia River) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) mykiss)EAlani (Melicope ovalis)
TSteelhead (south central California coast) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) mykiss)EAlani (Melicope pallida)
TSturgeon, gulf (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi)EAlani (Melicope quadrangularis)
ESturgeon, white U.S.A. (Idaho, Montana), Canada (British Columbia), (Kootenai River system) (Acipenser transmontanus)EAlani (Melicope reflexa)
EAlani (Melicope saint-johnii)
ESucker, June (Chasmistes liorus)EAlani (Melicope zahlbruckneri)
ESucker, Modoc (Catostomus microps)TAmole, purple (Chlorogalum purpureum)
ESucker, razorback (Xyrauchen texanus)E'Anaunau (Lepidium arbuscula)
TSucker, Warner (Catostomus warnerensis)E'Anunu (Sicyos alba)
TTrout, Little Kern golden (Oncorhynchus aguabonita whitei)EAupaka (Isodendrion hosakae)
EWoundfin (except Gila River drainage, Arizona, New Mexico) (Plagopterus argentissimus)EAupaka (Isodendrion laurifolium)
TAupaka (Isodendrion longifolium)
ClamsE'Awikiwiki (Canavalia molokaiensis)
EAwiwi (Centaurium sebaeoides)
EElktoe, Appalachian (Alasmidonta raveneliana)EAwiwi (Hedyotis cookiana)
EHeelsplitter, Carolina (Lasmigona decorata)EBladderpod, San Bernardino Mountains (Lesquerella kingii ssp. bernardina)
EBladderpod, Zapata (Lesquerella thamnophila)
SnailsTBlazingstar, Ash Meadows (Mentzelia leucophylla)
ESnail, Morro shoulderband (=banded dune) (Helminthoglypta walkeriana)EBluegrass, Hawaiian (Poa sandvicensis)
TSnail, Newcomb's (Erinna newcombi)EBluegrass, Mann's (Poa mannii)
EBuckwheat, cushenbury (Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum)
InsectsTCentaury, spring-loving (Centaurium namophilum)
TBeetle, delta green ground (Elaphrus viridis)ECheckermallow, Keck's (Sidalcea keckii)
EBeetle, Helotes mold (Batrisodes venyivi)ECheckermallow, Wenatchee Mountains (Sidalcea oregana var. calva)
TBeetle, valley elderberry longhorn (Desmocerus californicus dimorphus)TDaisy, Parish's (Erigeron parishii)
TButterfly, bay checkerspot (Euphydryas editha bayensis)EEvening primrose, Antioch Dunes (Oenothera deltoides ssp. howellii)
TButterfly, Oregon silverspot (Speyeria zerene hippolyta)EFiddleneck, large-flowered (Amsinckia grandiflora)
EButterfly, Palos Verdes blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis)EGeranium, Hawaiian red-flowered (Geranium arboreum)
EButterfly, Quino checkerspot (Euphydryas editha quino (=E. e. wrighti))EGoldfields, Contra Costa (Lasthenia conjugens)
EGrasshopper, Zayante band-winged (Trimerotropis infantilis)EGrass, Solano (Tuctoria mucronata)
EGround beetle, [unnamed] (Rhadine exilis)TGroundsel, San Francisco Peaks (Senecio franciscanus)
EGround beetle, [unnamed] (Rhadine infernalis)TGumplant, Ash Meadows (Grindelia fraxino-pratensis)
EMoth, Blackburn's sphinx (Manduca blackburni)EHaha (Cyanea acuminata)
TNaucorid, Ash Meadows (Ambrysus amargosus)EHaha (Cyanea asarifolia)
EHaha (Cyanea copelandii ssp. copelandii)
ArachnidsEHaha (Cyanea copelandii ssp. haleakalaensis)
EHarvestman, Cokendolpher Cave (Texella cokendolpheri)EHaha (Cyanea dunbarii)
EMeshweaver, Braken Bat Cave (Cicurina venii)EHaha (Cyanea glabra)
EMeshweaver, Madla's Cave (Cicurina madla)EHaha (Cyanea grimesiana ssp. grimesiana)
EMeshweaver, Robber Baron Cave (Cicurina baronia)EHaha (Cyanea grimesiana ssp. obatae)
ESpider, Kauai cave wolf or pe'e pe'e maka 'ole (Adelocosa anops)EHaha (Cyanea hamatiflora carlsonii)
ESpider, spruce-fir moss (Microhexura montivaga)EHaha (Cyanea hamatiflora ssp. hamatiflora)
EHaha (Cyanea humboldtiana)
CrustaceansEHaha (Cyanea koolauensis)
EAmphipod, Kauai cave (Spelaeorchestia koloana)EHaha (Cyanea lobata)
EFairy shrimp, Conservancy (Branchinecta conservatio)EHaha (Cyanea longiflora)
EFairy shrimp, longhorn (Branchinecta longiantenna)EHaha (Cyanea macrostegia ssp. gibsonii)
EFairy shrimp, Riverside (Streptocephalus woottoni)EHaha (Cyanea mannii)
EFairy shrimp, San Diego (Branchinecta sandiegonensis)EHaha (Cyanea mceldowneyi)
TFairy shrimp, vernal pool (Branchinecta lynchi)EHaha (Cyanea pinnatifida)
EShrimp, Kentucky cave (Palaemonias ganteri)EHaha (Cyanea platyphylla)
ETadpole shrimp, vernal pool (Lepidurus packardi)EHaha (Cyanea procera)
Flowering PlantsTHaha (Cyanea recta)
EHaha (Cyanea remyi)
EA'e (Zanthoxylum dipetalum var. tomentosum)EHaha (Cyanea shipmannii)
EA'e (Zanthoxylum hawaiiense)EHaha (Cyanea stictophylla)
TAhinahina (Argyroxiphium sandwicense ssp. macrocephalum)EHaha (Cyanea st-johnii)
E'Aiakeakua, popolo (Solanum sandwicense)EHaha (Cyanea superba)
E'Aiea (Nothocestrum breviflorum)EHaha (Cyanea truncata)
E'Aiea (Nothocestrum peltatum)EHaha (Cyanea undulata)
E'Akoko (Chamaesyce celastroides var. kaenana)EHa'iwale (Cyrtandra crenata)
E'Akoko (Chamaesyce deppeana)EHa'iwale (Cyrtandra dentata)
E'Akoko (Chamaesyce herbstii)
StatusSpecies nameStatusSpecies name
Flowering plantsFlowering plants
EHa'iwale (Cyrtandra giffardii)ENehe (Lipochaeta fauriei)
THa'iwale (Cyrtandra limahuliensis)ENehe (Lipochaeta kamolensis)
EHa'iwale (Cyrtandra munroi)ENehe (Lipochaeta lobata var. leptophylla)
EHa'iwale (Cyrtandra polyantha)ENehe (Lipochaeta micrantha)
EHa'iwale (Cyrtandra subumbellata)ENehe (Lipochaeta tenuifolia)
EHa'iwale (Cyrtandra tintinnabula)ENehe (Lipochaeta waimeaensis)
EHa'iwale (Cyrtandra viridiflora)ENioi (Eugenia koolauensis)
EHala pepe (Pleomele hawaiiensis)ENiterwort, Amargosa (Nitrophila mohavensis)
EHau kuahiwi (Hibiscadelphus giffardianus)EAbutilon eremitopetalum (No common name)
EHau kuahiwi (Hibiscadelphus hualalaiensis)EAbutilon sandwicense (No common name)
EHau kuahiwi (Hibiscadelphus woodii)EAchyranthes mutica (No common name)
THeather, mountain golden (Hudsonia montana)EAlsinidendron obovatum (No common name)
EHeau (Exocarpos luteolus)EAlsinidendron trinerve (No common name)
EHedyotis, Na Pali beach (Hedyotis st.-johnii)EAlsinidendron viscosum (No common name)
EHibiscus, Clay's (Hibiscus clayi)EAmaranthus brownii (No common name)
EHolei (Ochrosia kilaueaensis)EBonamia menziesii (No common name)
EIliau, dwarf (Wilkesia hobdyi)EChamaesyce halemanui (No common name)
EIschaemum, Hilo (Ischaemum byrone)ECyanea (Rollandia) crispa (No common name)
TIvesia, Ash Meadows (Ivesia kingii var. eremica)EDelissea rhytidosperma (No common name)
EKamakahala (Labordia cyrtandrae)EDelissea undulata (No common name)
EKamakahala (Labordia lydgatei)EGahnia lanaiensis (No common name)
EKamakahala (Labordia tinifolia var. wahiawaensis)EGouania hillebrandii (No common name)
EKamanomano (Cenchrus agrimonioides)EGouania meyenii (No common name)
EKauila (Colubrina oppositifolia)EGouania vitifolia (No common name)
EKaulu (Pteralyxia kauaiensis)EHedyotis degeneri (No common name)
EKio'ele (Hedyotis coriacea)EHedyotis parvula (No common name)
EKiponapona (Phyllostegia racemosa)EHesperomannia arborescens (No common name)
EKohe malama malama o kanaloa (Kanaloa kahoolawensis)EHesperomannia arbuscula (No common name)
EKoki'o (Kokia drynarioides)EHesperomannia lydgatei (No common name)
EKoki'o (Kokia kauaiensis)ELobelia gaudichaudii ssp. koolauensis (No common name)
EKoki'o ke'oke'o (Hibiscus arnottianus ssp. immaculatus)ELobelia monostachya (No common name)
EKoki'o ke'oke'o (Hibiscus waimeae ssp. hannerae)ELobelia niihauensis (No common name)
EKolea (Myrsine juddii)ELobelia oahuensis (No common name)
TKolea (Myrsine linearifolia)ELysimachia filifolia (No common name)
EKo'oko'olau (Bidens micrantha ssp. kalealaha)ELysimachia lydgatei (No common name)
EKo'oko'olau (Bidens wiebkei)ELysimachia maxima (No common name)
EKuahiwi laukahi (Plantago hawaiensis)EMariscus fauriei (No common name)
EKuahiwi laukahi (Plantago princeps)EMariscus pennatiformis (No common name)
EKuawawaenohu (Alsinidendron lychnoides)EMunroidendron racemosum (No common name)
EKula wahine noho (Isodendrion pyrifolium)ENeraudia angulata (No common name)
EKulu'i (Nototrichium humile)ENeraudia ovata (No common name)
ELarkspur, Baker's (Delphinium bakeri)ENeraudia sericea (No common name)
ELarkspur, yellow (Delphinium luteum)EPhyllostegia glabra var . lanaiensis (No common name)
ELau 'ehu (Panicum niihauense)EPhyllostegia hirsuta (No common name)
ELaulihilihi (Schiedea stellarioides)EPhyllostegia kaalaensis (No common name)
ELiliwai (Acaena exigua)EPhyllostegia knudsenii (No common name)
ELo'ulu (Pritchardia affinis)EPhyllostegia mannii (No common name)
ELo'ulu (Pritchardia kaalae)EPhyllostegia mollis (No common name)
ELo'ulu (Pritchardia munroi)EPhyllostegia parviflora (No common name)
ELo'ulu (Pritchardia napaliensis)EPhyllostegia velutina (No common name)
ELo'ulu (Pritchardia remota)EPhyllostegia waimeae (No common name)
ELo'ulu (Pritchardia schattaueri)EPhyllostegia warshaueri (No common name)
ELo'ulu (Pritchardia viscosa)EPhyllostegia wawrana (No common name)
ELove grass, Fosberg's (Eragrostis fosbergii)EPlatanthera holochila (No common name)
EMahoe (Alectryon macrococcus)EPoa siphonoglossa (No common name)
TMakou (Peucedanum sandwicense)ERemya kauaiensis (No common name)
EMa'o hau hele, (native yellow hibiscus) (Hibiscus brackenridgei)ERemya montgomeryi (No common name)
EMa'oli'oli (Schiedea apokremnos)ESanicula mariversa (No common name)
EMa'oli'oli (Schiedea kealiae)ESanicula purpurea (No common name)
EMapele (Cyrtandra cyaneoides)ESchiedea haleakalensis (No common name)
EMeadowfoam, Butte County (Limnanthes floccosa ssp. californica)ESchiedea helleri (No common name)
EMehamehame (Flueggea neowawraea)ESchiedea hookeri (No common name)
EMilk vetch, Ash meadows (Astragalus phoenix)ESchiedea kaalae (No common name)
TMilk vetch, Cushenbury (Astragalus albens)ESchiedea kauaiensis (No common name)
EMilk vetch, heliotrope (Astragalus montii)ESchiedea lydgatei (No common name)
TMilkweed, Welsh's (Asclepias welshii)ESchiedea membranacea (No common name)
ENa'ena'e (Dubautia herbstobatae)ESchiedea nuttallii (No common name)
ENa'ena'e (Dubautia latifolia)ESchiedea sarmentosa (No common name)
ENa'ena'e (Dubautia pauciflorula)ESchiedea spergulina var. leiopoda (No common name)
ENa'ena'e (Dubautia plantaginea ssp. humilis)ESchiedea spergulina var. spergulina (No common name)
ENani wai'ale'ale (Viola kauaiensis var. wahiawaensis)ESchiedea verticillata (No common name)
ENanu (Gardenia mannii)ESilene alexandri (No common name)
StatusSpecies nameStatusSpecies name
Flowering plantsFlowering plants
TSilene hawaiiensis (No common name)EPilo (Hedyotis mannii)
ESilene lanceolata (No common name)EPo'e (Portulaca sclerocarpa)
ESilene perlmanii (No common name)EPolygonum, Scotts Valley (Polygonum hickmanii)
ESpermolepis hawaiiensis (No common name)EPopolo ku mai (Solanum incompletum)
EStenogyne bifida (No common name)EPua 'ala (Brighamia rockii)
EStenogyne campanulata (No common name)EPu'uka'a (Cyperus trachysanthos)
EStenogyne kanehoana (No common name)ERemya, Maui (Remya mauiensis)
ETetramolopium arenarium (No common name)TSeagrass, Johnson's (Halophila johnsonii)
ETetramolopium filiforme (No common name)TSedge, Navajo (Carex specuicola)
ETetramolopium lepidotum ssp. lepidotum (No common name)ESilversword, Mauna Loa (=Ka'u) (Argyroxiphium kauense)
ETetramolopium remyi (No common name)TSpineflower, Monterey (Chorizanthe pungens var. pungens)
TTetramolopium rockii (No common name)ESpineflower, Robust (including Scotts Valley) (Chorizanthe robusta [including vars. robusta and hartwegii])
ETrematolobelia singularis (No common name)
EVigna o-wahuensis (No common name)TSpurge, Hoover's (Chamaesyce hooveri)
EViola helenae (No common name)TSunray, Ash Meadows (Enceliopsis nudicaulis var. corrugata)
EViola lanaiensis (No common name)ETarplant, Gaviota (Hemizonia increscens ssp. villosa)
EViola oahuensis (No common name)TTarplant, Otay (Deinandra (=Hemizonia) conjugens)
EXylosma crenatum (No common name)TTarplant, Santa Cruz (Holocarpha macradenia)
ENohoanu (Geranium multiflorum)EThistle, La Graciosa (Cirsium loncholepis)
EOha (Delissea rivularis)ETuctoria, Greene's (Tuctoria greenei)
EOha (Delissea subcordata)EWahane (Pritchardia aylmer-robinsonii)
E'Oha wai (Clermontia drepanomorpha)EWallflower, Contra Costa (Erysimum capitatum var. angustatum)
E'Oha wai (Clermontia lindseyana)EWater-umbel, Huachuca (Lilaeopsis schaffneriana var. recurva)
E'Oha wai (Clermontia oblongifolia ssp. brevipes)EWild-buckwheat, clay-loving (Eriogonum pelinophilum)
E'Oha wai (Clermontia oblongifolia ssp. mauiensis)TWild-buckwheat, gypsum (Eriogonum gypsophilum)
E'Oha wai (Clermontia peleana)EWild-rice, Texas (Zizania texana)
E'Oha wai (Clermontia pyrularia)EWire-lettuce, Malheur (Stephanomeria malheurensis)
E'Oha wai (Clermontia samuelii)EYerba santa, Lompoc (Eriodictyon capitatum)
EOhai (Sesbania tomentosa)Ferns and Allies
E'Ohe'ohe (Tetraplasandra gymnocarpa)
EOlulu (Brighamia insignis)EDiellia, asplenium-leaved (Diellia erecta)
EOpuhe (Urera kaalae)EFern, pendant kihi (Adenophorus periens)
EOrcutt grass, hairy (Orcuttia pilosa)EIhi'ihi (Marsilea villosa)
EOrcutt grass, Sacramento (Orcuttia viscida)EAsplenium fragile var. insulare (No common name)
TOrcutt grass, San Joaquin (Orcuttia inaequalis)EDiellia falcata (No common name)
TOrcutt grass, slender (Orcuttia tenuis)EDiellia pallida (No common name)
TOwl's-clover, fleshy (Castilleja campestris ssp. succulenta)EDiellia unisora (No common name)
EOxytheca, cushenbury (Oxytheca parishii var. goodmaniana)EDiplazium molokaiense (No common name)
EPamakani (Tetramolopium capillare)EPteris lidgatei (No common name)
EPamakani (Viola chamissoniana ssp. chamissoniana)EPauoa (Ctenitis squamigera)
EPanicgrass, Carter's (Panicum fauriei var. carteri)EWawae'iole (Huperzia mannii)
EPenny-cress, Kneeland Prairie (Thlaspi californicum)EWawae'iole (Lycopodium (Phlegmariurus) nutans)
EPennyroyal, Todsen's (Hedeoma todsenii)
Total number of species is 450.
source: Adapted from "Listed Species with Critical Habitat as of 02/10/2004," in Threatened and Endangered Species System (TESS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, 2004 [Online] [accessed February 10, 2004]

concerned about the threatened desert tortoise. In 2001 an update on this HCP was published by the Fish and Wildlife Service. The Fish and Wildlife Service reported that a total of 1,500 acres of habitat were developed in Washington County after being cleared of tortoises—161 tortoises were legally "taken." The biological benefits of the HCP included the acquisition of a continuous area of habitat for desert tortoises administered by the Bureau of Land Management. This reserve was created through the exchange and purchase of land by the Bureau of Land Management. In addition, tortoises will be protected from other threats on the reserve. For example, grazing permits for reserve land have been retired, so cattle will no longer trample habitat and compete with tortoises for food. In addition, new restrictions were placed on the operation of off-road vehicles in the reserve, which damage habitats and sometimes hit tortoises. The development of a nature education center is in the works. There are still a number of contentious issues. For example, some members of the public have demanded that more recreational opportunities be made available on the reserve. Also, the Bureau of Land Management needs to purchase more land to complete the reserve, difficult on its limited budget.

Opposition to the Endangered Species Act

Opponents of the Endangered Species Act believe the law violates private property rights and stifles economic growth by curbing development. They also charge that environmental protection often results in the loss of jobs and business profits.

One vocal critic of the Endangered Species Act is Thomas Lambert. In The Endangered Species Act: A

Inverted common nameScientific nameGroup codeWhere listed
Bear, grizzlyUrsus arctos horribilisMammalsU.S.A. experimental non-essential (portions of ID and MT)
Ferret, black-footedMustela nigripesMammalsU.S.A. (specific portions of AZ, CO, MT, SD, UT, and WY)
Otter, southern seaEnhydra lutris nereisMammalsAll areas subject to U.S. jurisdiction south of Point Conception, CA
Squirrel, Delmarva Peninsula foxSciurus niger cinereusMammalsU.S.A. (DE—Sussex Co.)
Wolf, grayCanis lupusMammalsU.S.A. (portions of AZ, NM, and TX)
Wolf, grayCanis lupusMammalsU.S.A. (WY and portions of ID and MT)
Wolf, redCanis rufusMammalsU.S.A. (portions of NC and TN)
Condor, CaliforniaGymnogyps californianusBirdsU.S.A. (specific portions of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah)
Crane, whoopingGrus americanaBirdsU.S.A. (AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NC, OH, SC, TN, VA, WI, WV)
Crane, whoopingGrus americanaBirdsU.S.A. (CO, ID, FL, NM, UT, and the western half of Wyoming)
Rail, GuamRallus owstoniBirdsRota
Chub, spotfinCyprinella monachaFishesTellico River, between the backwaters of the Tellico Reservoir and the Tellico Ranger Station, in Monroe County, Tennessee
Darter, duskytailEtheostoma percnurumFishesTellico River, between the backwaters of the Tellico Reservoir and the Tellico Ranger Station, in Monroe County, Tennessee
Madtom, smokyNoturus baileyiFishesTellico River, between the backwaters of the Tellico Reservoir and the Tellico Ranger Station, in Monroe County, Tennessee
Madtom, yellowfinNoturus flavipinnisFishesTellico River, between the backwaters of the Tellico Reservoir and the Tellico Ranger Station, in Monroe County, Tennessee
Madtom, yellowfinNoturus flavipinnisFishesNorth Fork Holston River, VA, TN; South Fork Holston River, upstream to Fort Patrick Henry Dam, TN; Holston River downstream to John Sevier Detention Lake Dam, TN; and all tributaries thereto
Pikeminnow (-squawfish), ColoradoPtychocheilus luciusFishesSalt and Verde River drainages, AZ
WoundfinPlagopterus argentissimusFishesGila River drainage, AZ, NM
Bean, Cumberland (pearlymussel)Villosa trabalisClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
Blossom, tubercled (pearlymussel)Epioblasma torulosa torulosaClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
Blossom, turgid (pearlymussel)Epioblasma turgidulaClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
Blossom, yellow (pearlymussel)Epioblasma florentina florentinaClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
Catspaw (-purple cat's paw pearlymussel)Epioblasma obliquata obliquataClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
ClubshellPleurobema clavaClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
Combshell, CumberlandianEpioblasma brevidensClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
Lampmussel, AlabamaLampsilis virescensClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
Mapleleaf, winged (mussel)Quadrula fragosa intermediaClamsU.S.A. (AL; The free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
Monkeyface, Cumberland (pearlymussel)Quadrula intermediaClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam ownstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
Pearlymussel, birdwingConradilla caelataClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
Pearlymussel, crackingHemistena lataClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
Pearlymussel, dromedaryDromus dromasClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
Inverted common nameScientific nameGroup codeWhere listed
Pigtoe, fine-rayedFusconaia cuneolusClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
Pigtoe, shinyFusconaia corClamsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
River snail, Anthony'sAthearnia anthonyiSnailsU.S.A. (AL; the free-flowing reach of the Tennessee River from the base of Wilson Dam downstream to the backwaters of Pickwick Reservoir [about 12 RM (19 km)] and the lower 5 RM [8 km] of all tributaries to this reach in Colbert and Lauderdale Counties).
source: Adapted from "Experimental Populations," in Threatened and Endangered Species System (TESS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, 2004 [Online] [accessed February 11, 2004]

Train Wreck Ahead (St. Louis, MO: Center for the Study of American Business, 1995), Lambert argues that private property will become increasingly restricted under the act. This is because more species are continually being added to the threatened and endangered list, while few are removed from it. Lambert believes the best way to ensure that landowners are treated fairly is to require the federal government to compensate those whose property is devalued through Endangered Species Act land-use restrictions. That way, he says, regulators will be forced to weigh the costs and benefits of recovering a species much more thoroughly and sensibly than they do now.

Is the Endangered Species Act Enough?

Other critics argue, on the other hand, that the Endangered Species Act is not enough. These critics charge that species are often listed for protection so late in the slide to extinction that their populations have already become perilously small. In addition, the listing process can be extremely slow. A number of species have become extinct while federal authorities deliberated about listing action. Even some supporters of the Endangered Species Act believe that implementation of the act has been poor. In part, budget cuts are to blame. For example, in November 2000, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it would be unable to list any new species in 2001 because its budget would be entirely used up complying with court orders requiring designation of critical habitat for listed species. This continues to be a problem.

Other critics charge that the Endangered Species Act has failed in its central mission to preserve biodiversity. They argue that more must be done both to enforce the law and to supplement it. The Wilderness Society, an environmental advocacy organization, believes that the Endangered Species Act, even strengthened and fully funded, will not be sufficient to maintain biological diversity. It argues that conservation efforts must be ecosystem-based, and that the Endangered Species Act must be complemented with a biodiversity program which deals with units larger than single species.


The History of U.S. Land Management

In the United States' first century as a nation, the federal government owned about 80 percent of the nation's land. Beginning in 1785 the government began to survey and sell its land holdings to states, settlers, and railroad companies. By the end of the nineteenth century, the government had transferred most of its lands to private ownership. It also allowed private use of remaining federal lands. After several decades of rapid development and unrestricted use, much of the nation's lands and natural resources were significantly degraded. Responding to growing concerns, Congress slowly redefined the federal

SpeciesStatus1998 Rank1999 Rank2000 Rank
Salmon, chinookE, T2, 311
SteelheadE, T5, 6, & 722
Salmon, cohoT133
Salmon, chumTNot listed45
Salmon, sockeyeE, T454
Woodpecker, red-cockadedE867
Trout, bullT14, 152, & 18778
Owl, northern spottedT9814
Sea-lion, StellerE, T2396
Crane, whoopingE191011
Flycatcher, southwestern willowE101912
Sparrow, Cape Sable seasideE621049
Manatee, West IndianE392310
E = endangered
T = threatened
source: "Table 3. The 10 Species (Rank Shown in Bold) with the Highest Reported Expenditures for Fiscal Years 1998–2000," in Three-Year Summary of Federal and State Endangered and Threatened Species Expenditures: Fiscal Years 1998–2000, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, November 2003

government's role in land management from temporary to permanent retention as well as active stewardship.

Half a century later, in the 1960s, increasing scientific and public concern about the declining condition of the country's natural resources led Congress to enact a number of laws to conserve both federal and nonfederal lands. These laws cover air, water, soil, plants, and animals. With increasing environmental legislation, the land management framework evolved into a complex collection of agencies, land units, and laws. Different agencies have different priorities, which are reflected in how they manage the resources under their care. The effects of these different missions are particularly evident in places where two agencies hold adjacent lands. For example, the National Park Service (Department of the Interior) oversees Yellowstone National Park, where timber harvesting is prohibited, whereas the U.S. Forest Service (Department of Agriculture) allows large areas to be clear-cut in the adjacent Targhee National Forest in Idaho.

The National Park System

The National Park System began with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. By 2004

Current statusSpecies nameStatus change
TArgali (Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan) (Ovis ammon)06/23/1992: E→T
TBirch, Virginia round-leaf (Betula uber)11/16/1994: E→T
TBladderpod, Missouri (Lesquerella filiformis)10/15/2003: E→T
EButterfly, Schaus swallowtail (Heraclides aristodemus ponceanus)08/31/1984: T→E
TCactus, Siler pincushion (Pediocactus (=Echinocactus,=Utahia) sileri)12/27/1993: E→T
TCaiman, Yacare (Caiman yacare)05/04/2000: E→T
ECavefish, Alabama (Speoplatyrhinus poulsoni)09/28/1988: T→E
EChimpanzee (in the wild) (Pan troglodytes)03/12/1990: T→E
TChimpanzee (captive) (Pan troglodytes)03/12/1990: E→T
EChimpanzee, pygmy (Pan paniscus)03/12/1990: T→E
TCrocodile, Nile (Crocodylus niloticus)09/30/1988: E→T,
09/23/1993: E→T,
06/17/1987: E→T
TCrocodile, saltwater (Australia) (Crocodylus porosus)06/24/1996: E→T
TDaisy, Maguire (Erigeron maguirei)06/19/1996: E→T
TDarter, snail (Percina tanasi)07/05/1984: E→T
EDeer, Columbian white-tailed Columbia River distinct population segment (Odocoileus virginianus leucurus)07/24/2003: E→T
TEagle, bald (lower 48 states) (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)07/12/1995: E→T
TFour-o'clock, MacFarlane's (Mirabilis macfarlanei)03/15/1996: E→T
TLeopard (Gabon to Kenya & southward) (Panthera pardus)01/28/1982: E→T
TMonarch, Tinian (old world flycatcher) (Monarcha takatsukasae)04/06/1987: E→T
TPearlshell, Louisiana (Margaritifera hembeli)09/24/1993: E→T
TPogonia, small whorled (Isotria medeoloides)10/06/1994: E→T
TPrairie dog, Utah (Cynomys parvidens)05/29/1984: E→T
TSalmon, chinook (fall Snake River) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) tshawytscha)11/02/1994: T→E
TSalmon, chinook (spring/summer Snake River) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) tshawytscha)11/02/1994: T→E
ESalmon, chinook (winter Sacramento River) (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) tshawytscha)03/23/1994: T→E
ESea lion, Steller (western population) (Eumetopias jubatus)06/05/1997: T→E,
05/05/1997: T→E
TSkullcap, large-flowered (Scutellaria montana)01/14/2002: E→T
TTrout, Apache (Oncorhynchus apache)07/16/1975: E→T
TTrout, greenback cutthroat (Oncorhynchus clarki stomias)04/18/1978: E→T
TTrout, Lahontan cutthroat (Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi)07/16/1975: E→T
TTrout, Paiute cutthroat (Oncorhynchus clarki seleniris)07/16/1975: E→T
TWolf, gray, Western distinct population segment (Canis lupus)04/01/2003: E→T
TWolf, gray, Eastern distinct population segment (Canis lupus)04/01/2003: E→T,
03/09/1978: T→E
E = endangered
T = threatened
source: "Reclassified Threatened and Endangered Species as of 02/10/2004," in Threatened and Endangered Species System (TESS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC 2004 [Online] [accessed February 10, 2004]

there were 384 national parks, monuments, preserves, memorials, historic sites, recreational areas, seashores, and other units that cover a total of more than 83 million acres. The National Park System has units in all U.S. states and territories with the exception of Delaware and the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. In addition to preserving habitats that range from arctic tundra to tropical rain forest, the system protects representatives of more than half of North America's plant species and a large proportion of animal species. The map in Figure 2.4 shows the location and ranges of National Parks in the United States. The National Park Service is also responsible for encouraging public enjoyment of its natural areas. Balancing these objectives shapes the debate over how best to manage the National Parks. There were over 413 million visitations to National Parks in 2003, of which 266 million were recreational.

Working closely with the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service plays an important role in protecting and restoring threatened and endangered species. Three measures that the NPS takes to protect wildlife include:

  1. Education of park visitors about species loss and the value of biodiversity.
  2. Enforcement of laws related to protecting species under the Endangered Species Act.
  3. Provision of a protected and undisturbed habitat for animals.

The National Parks have played a significant role in the return of several species, including red wolves and peregrine falcons. National Parks also contain designated critical habitat for numerous listed species. However, not all these are disclosed, in order to protect rare species from collectors, vandals, or curiosity seekers. In 2002 the Fish and Wildlife Service reported that 398 federally listed endangered species were found in National Parks. This represents nearly a third of all threatened and endangered U.S. species. Table 2.9 lists some of the types of endangered,

Date species listedFirst date delistedSpecies nameReason delisted
03/11/196706/04/1987Alligator, American (Alligator mississippiensis)Recovered
11/06/197910/01/2003Barberry, Truckee (Berberis (=Mahonia) sonnei)Taxonomic revision
02/17/198402/06/1996Bidens, cuneate (Bidens cuneata)Taxonomic revision
08/27/198402/23/2004Broadbill, Guam (Myiagra freycineti)Believed extinct
04/28/197608/31/1984Butterfly, Bahama swallowtail (Heraclides andraemon bonhotei)Act amendment
10/26/197906/24/1999Cactus, Lloyd's hedgehog (Echinocereus lloydii)Taxonomic revision
11/07/197909/22/1993Cactus, spineless hedgehog (Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. inermis)Not a listable entity
09/17/198008/27/2002Cinquefoil, Robbins' (Potentilla robbinsiana)Recovered
03/11/196709/02/1983Cisco, longjaw (Coregonus alpenae)Extinct
03/11/196707/24/2003Deer, Columbian white-tailed, Douglas County distinct population segment (Odocoileus virginianus leucurus)Recovered, threats
06/02/197009/12/1985Dove, Palau ground (Gallicolumba canifrons)Recovered
03/11/196707/25/1978Duck, Mexican (U.S.A. only) (Anas "diazi")Taxonomic revision
06/02/197008/25/1999Falcon, American peregrine (Falco peregrinus anatum)Recovered
06/02/197010/05/1994Falcon, Arctic peregrine (Falco peregrinus tundrius)Recovered
06/02/197009/12/1985Flycatcher, Palau fantail (Rhipidura lepida)Recovered
04/30/198012/04/1987Gambusia, Amistad (Gambusia amistadensis)Extinct
04/29/198606/18/1993Globeberry, Tumamoc (Tumamoca macdougalii)New information
03/11/196703/20/2001Goose, Aleutian Canada (Branta canadensis leucopareia)Recovered
10/11/197911/27/1989Hedgehog cactus, purple-spined (Echinocereus engelmannii var. purpureus)Taxonomic revision
12/30/197403/09/1995Kangaroo, eastern gray (Macropus giganteus)Recovered
12/30/197403/09/1995Kangaroo, red (Macropus rufus)Recovered
12/30/197403/09/1995Kangaroo, western gray (Macropus fuliginosus)Recovered
06/02/197702/23/2004Mallard, Mariana (Anas oustaleti)Believed extinct
04/26/197809/14/1989Milk vetch, Rydberg (Astragalus perianus)Recovered
06/02/197009/12/1985Owl, Palau (Pyroglaux podargina)Recovered
06/14/197601/09/1984Pearlymussel, Sampson's (Epioblasma sampsoni)Extinct
06/02/197002/04/1985Pelican, brown (U.S. Atlantic coast, Florida, Alabama) (Pelecanus occidentalis)Recovered
07/13/198209/22/1993Pennyroyal, Mckittrick (Hedeoma apiculatum)New information
03/11/196709/02/1983Pike, blue (Stizostedion vitreum glaucum)Extinct
10/13/197001/15/1982Pupfish, Tecopa (Cyprinodon nevadensis calidae)Extinct
09/26/198602/28/2000Shrew, Dismal Swamp southeastern (Sorex longirostris fisheri)New information
03/11/196712/12/1990Sparrow, dusky seaside (Ammodramus maritimus nigrescens)Extinct
06/04/197310/12/1983Sparrow, Santa Barbara song (Melospiza melodia graminea)Extinct
11/11/197711/22/1983Treefrog, pine barrens (Florida population) (Hyla andersonii)New information
09/13/199604/26/2000Trout, coastal cutthroat (Umpqua River) (Oncorhynchus clarki clarki)Taxonomic revision
06/14/197602/29/1984Turtle, Indian flap-shelled (Lissemys punctata punctata)Erroneous data
06/02/197006/16/1994Whale, gray (except where listed) (Eschrichtius robustus)Recovered
03/11/196704/01/2003Wolf, gray U.S.A. (delisting of all other lower 48 states or portions of lower 48 states not otherwise included in the 3 distinct population segments). (Canis lupus)Taxonomic revision
07/19/199010/07/2003Woolly star, Hoover's (Eriastrum hooveri)New information
source: "Delisted Species Report as of 02/10/2004," in Threatened and Endangered Species System (TESS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC 2004 [Online] [accessed February 10, 2004]

threatened, proposed, and candidate species that are found within the National Park System. Parks that provide important habitat for disproportionately large numbers of endangered species are listed in Table 2.10. Several are in Hawaii and California, states that have a disproportionate number of listed threatened and endangered species.

The National Forests

The National Forests encompass more land than the National Park Service, including nearly 200 million acres in 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands. (See Table 2.11.) A map of the locations of U.S. National Forests is shown in Figure 2.5. In addition to forest and grassland areas, National Forest lands also include numerous lakes and ponds. National Forest land is, in general, not conserved to the same degree as National Park lands. For example, much logging occurs within these forests.

Within the Forest Service, the Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Species Program focuses on wildlife conservation. A total of 420, or 33 percent of, listed endangered or threatened species are found on National Forest lands. In addition 35 proposed species and 257 candidate species also make use of National Forest or Grassland habitats. The Forest Service has also designated over 2,900 species as sensitive, and has developed protective measures to help keep these species from becoming endangered.

StatusProposal dateSpecies name
AT03/26/1998Bat, Mariana fruit (=Mariana flying fox) (Pteropus mariannus mariannus)
AD07/06/1999Eagle, bald (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
AD05/22/2003Frankenia, Johnston's (Frankenia johnstonii)
AT08/05/1993Hawk, Hawaiian (='lo) (Buteo solitarius)
AD02/22/1999Monarch, Tinian (old world flycatcher) (Monarcha takatsukasae)
AT09/22/1993Poolfish, Pahrump (Empetrichthys latos)
ATpendingSalamander, California tiger (Ambystoma californiense)
ATpendingSalamander, California tiger (Ambystoma californiense)
PT(S/A)01/09/2001Trout, Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma)
AD=proposed delisting
AT=proposed reclassification to threatened
PT (SA)=proposed similarity of appearance to a threatened taxon
source: "Species Proposed for Status Change or Delisting as of 02/10/2004," in Threatened and Endangered Species System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, 2004 [Online] [accessed February 10, 2004]

The National Wildlife Refuge System

The National Wildlife Refuge System is the only network of federal lands and waters managed principally for the protection of fish and wildlife. In 1999, the total acreage in the system was well over 93 million. (See Table 2.12.) This includes 547 Wildlife Refuges; 38 Wetland Management Districts, which administer over 26,000 Waterfowl Protection Areas; and 50 Coordination Areas, which are jointly administered with a state wildlife agency. Figure 2.6 shows the distribution of units within the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The first unit of what would later become the refuge system was the Pelican Island Bird Reservation in Florida, established in 1903 to protect the dwindling populations of wading birds in Florida. Today the sixteen wildlife refuges in Alaska account for 83 percent of land in the refuge system. Yukon Delta, the largest of the Alaskan refuges, comprises 20 million acres. Approximately one-third of the total refuge acreage is wetland habitat, reflecting the importance of wetlands for wildlife survival.

Of the many species listed under the Endangered Species Act, a quarter have habitat on National Wildlife Refuges. Many other listed species use refuge lands on a temporary basis for breeding or migratory rest stops. A list of wildlife refuges established explicitly for endangered species appears, by state, along with the species of concern and the number of protected acres in Table 2.13. Lists of endangered animals and plants found within the National Wildlife Refuge System appear in Table 2.14 and Table 2.15 respectively. Virtually every species of bird in North America has been recorded in the refuge system. The wide variety of wildlife found on refuges also

Taxonomic groupSpecies
source: Loyal A. Mehrhoff and Peter A. Dratch, "Table 1. Endangered, Threatened, Proposed, and Candidate Species Found in Units of the National Park Service," in "Endangered Species and the National Park Service," Endangered Species Bulletin, vol. XXVII, no. 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, January/February 2002

includes over 220 mammals, 250 reptiles and amphibians, and 200 fish species.

Funding limitations constrain efforts to manage wildlife refuges. The Fish and Wildlife Service reports that the refuge system's current annual funding is less than half the amount needed to meet established objectives. The 2004 budget for the system included $291.6 million for refuge operations and $99.9 million for refuge maintenance.

America's Wild Lands under Attack

Since the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964, 630 areas have been designated wilderness. These cover a total of more than 103 million acres. Much of the designated land is located within the National Wildlife Refuge System under the management of the Fish and Wildlife Service. Table 2.16 shows the acreage of wilderness areas within the National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries Systems. Unlike National Parks, which are intended for use by large numbers of visitors, wilderness areas are intended to be pristine, with limited access and no amenities. True wilderness remains, for most humans, a place to visit only rarely. Nonetheless, the number of people using wilderness areas has increased steadily. Many visitors, as well as park managers, have wearied particularly of the intrusions of civilization—in the form of cell phones, snowmobiles, and aircraft—into wilderness areas.

Many national parks and monuments are suffering as well, in part because of the high volume of visitors. More than five million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. On a busy day, 6,500 vehicles compete for 2,000 parking spaces. By 2001, Grand Canyon, Zion, and Yosemite National Parks required visitors to use mass transit.

In 1997 the Wilderness Society listed "America's 10 Most Endangered Wild Lands." These were identified based on their natural resources, national significance, and the immediate threats to their integrity. Most are wildlife reserves. Among the ten were the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Alaska), Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge (Oregon/California), Snoqualmie Pass (Washington), Boundary Waters Canoe Area (Minnesota), and the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument (Utah). Also included were Owyhee Canyonlands (Idaho), Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (Georgia/Florida), Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge (Arizona), the Whitney Estate in New York, and California's Mojave Desert.


The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is the largest National Wildlife Refuge in the United States. It harbors the greatest number of plant and animal species of any park or refuge in the arctic, including a multitude of unique species such as caribou, musk oxen, polar bears, Arctic foxes, and snow geese. Because of the harsh climate, Arctic habitats are generally characterized by short food chains and extreme vulnerability to habitat disturbance. The majority of Arctic species already live "on the edge." Consequently, the decline of even a single species is likely to have dramatic effects on the entire community.

The protected status of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been challenged by large oil companies and their political supporters. There has been interest in tapping the oil deposits in northern Alaska since the early 1900s. The area was first explored for oil and gas resources in the 1940s and 1950s. It was also in the 1950s, however, that people became aware of the ecological value of these lands, and a compromise was reached in which the northeastern part of the state was set aside as a wildlife range (later refuge), while drilling began—and continues—in the northwestern part of the state. Figure 2.7 shows the northern Alaskan refuge and oil drilling areas respectively. Production of oil and gas in the refuge area—the five percent of Alaska's North Slope not

National ParkPlantsAnimalsTotal
Haleakala National Park, Hawai' i351247
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawai' i271542
Channel Islands National Park, California151833
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California141529
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, California101323
Kalaupapa National Historic Park, Hawai' i15722
Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi81220
Everglades National Park, Florida71219
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee41216
source: Loyal A. Mehrhoff and Peter A. Dratch, "Table 2. Areas in the National Park System with the Largest Numbers of Endangered, Threatened, Proposed, and Candidate Species," in "Endangered Species and the National Park Service," Endangered Species Bulletin, vol. XXVII, no. 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, January/February 2002

already open to drilling—was also prohibited at this time unless specifically authorized by Congress.

Environmentalists argue that studies by the Fish and Wildlife Service suggest that oil drilling in the refuge will harm many Arctic species, by taking over habitat, damaging habitats through pollution, interfering with species activities directly, or increasing opportunities for invasive species such as gulls and ravens through the availability of garbage as a food source.

When Republicans took control of Congress in 1995, they passed legislation to allow for drilling in ANWR. President Clinton vetoed this bill, saying, "I want to protect this biologically rich wilderness permanently." The succeeding administration under George W. Bush has been much more supportive of drilling in the refuge. Attention is now focused particularly on the "1002 Area" within the refuge, which some environmentalists consider one of the most ecologically diverse and valuable. Among the species that would be affected if drilling is permitted are polar bears, whose preferred sites for building dens are in the 1002 Area (see Figure 2.8) and caribou, which use this area for calving—giving birth to young (see Figure 2.9).

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Republican politicians have tried to emphasize the national security aspects of ANWR. They argue that America cannot be truly secure until it reduces its dependence on foreign oil, much of which comes from unstable regions of the world such as the Mideast. One enthusiastic supporter of drilling in ANWR is Walter J. Hickel, former Secretary of the Interior and twice-governor of Alaska. In an article titled, "ANWR Oil" (The American Enterprise, June 2002), Hickel states, "Over-dependence on foreign oil exposes us to energy blackmail and compromises our

Area kindNational Forest Service acreage
National totals
National forests187,860,217
Purchase units359,351
National grasslands3,839,167
Land utilization projects1,876
Research and experimental areas64,871
Other areas295,814
National preserves89,716
Western regional totals (Regions 1 through 6)
National forests141,121,533
Purchase units12,244
National grasslands3,800,985
Land utilization projects1,834
Research and experimental areas60,598
Other areas108,431
National preserves89,716
Eastern regional totals (Regions 8 and 9)
National forests24,757,779
Purchase units347,107
National grasslands38,182
Land utilization projects42
Research and experimental areas4,273
Other areas187,383
Alaska region totals (Region 10)
National forests21,980,905
source: Adapted from "Table 1—National and Regional Areas Summary," in Land Areas Report as of September 30, 2003, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Washington, DC, January 2004 [Online] [accessed February 10, 2004]

ability to protect our citizens and assist our friends in times of crisis. Our goal as Americans must be to produce as much energy as we can for ourselves." Hickel goes on to state his belief that "[t]he very small portion of the refuge with oil potential can be explored and drilled without damaging the environment."

In August 2001 the House of Representatives again passed a bill allowing for drilling within the refuge. However, the Senate rejected this proposal in April 2002 and the refuge continues to be protected. In 2004 the Bush administration pressed again for oil drilling in ANWR, and included a drilling plan in its proposed 2005 budget. Oil drilling within ANWR will remain a bone of contention among politicians and the American public.


In the 1990s there was growing concern that traditional methods of species protection, using a species-by-species approach, were ineffective. Many alternatives were proposed. One of the most popular was a method variously termed the "habitat," "ecosystem," or "community" approach. The Fish and Wildlife Service defines an ecosystem as a "geographic area including all the living organisms (people, plants, animals, and microorganisms), their physical surroundings (such as soil, water, and air), and the natural cycles that sustain them." Central to these approaches is a focus on conservation of large intact areas of habitat. It is hoped that by focusing on entire habitats, rather than individual species recovery, numerous species will be protected before they reach critically low population sizes.

The National Biological Service was created in 1993 by the Department of the Interior. This agency is responsible for gathering, analyzing, and disseminating biological information necessary for stewardship of the nation's resources. The National Biological Service conducted the first large-scale study of ecosystems in the United States and found that many U.S. ecosystems are imperiled. In 1996 the National Biological Service was integrated into the United States Geological Survey as the Biological Resources Division.

In 1993 the White House Office on Environmental Policy established the Interagency Ecosystem Management Task Force to implement an ecosystem approach to environmental management. The task force included representatives from each of the four primary federal land-management agencies. A total of $700 million was appropriated to facilitate the implementations. The ambitious proposals included four pilot projects addressing conservation of old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, habitats in the Everglades and Florida Bay, the urban watershed of the Anacostia River in Maryland and the District of Columbia, and Alaska's Prince William Sound. However, due to budget cuts enacted by Congress in 1994, efforts on the projects were sidelined.

By the turn of the twenty-first century, however, progress had been made on a number of key ecosystem fronts:

  • In the late 1990s the Clinton administration secured $1.2 billion for Everglades restoration and added 70,000 acres to the Everglades National Park.
  • A budget appropriation of $250 million was designated for the preservation of the Headwaters Forest in Northern California, where 2,000-year-old redwoods stand. Additionally, $220 million was appropriated for the restoration of the California Bay-Delta ecosystem, including $30 million in water management funds for the Bay-Delta.
Reserved From Public DomainAcquired by Other Federal AgencyDevise or GiftPurchasedAgreement, Easement or LeaseTotal
source: "National Wildlife Refuge System Acreage," in Annual Report of Lands under Control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as of September 30, 1999, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, September 30, 1999 [Online]<@UserReferenceArgument>&_start=1 [accessed February 10, 2004]
  • Death Valley National Park, the largest National Park in the lower 48 states, was created.
  • The Clinton administration successfully blocked congressional proposals to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, located in Alaska, to oil drilling. A second attempt to open the refuge to drilling was defeated by the Senate in 2002.

Adaptive Management

Adaptive management describes a conservation strategy that involves active, experimental manipulation of the environment in order to restore damaged ecosystems. It is being pursued in a variety of primarily aquatic habitats, including the Florida Everglades, San Francisco Bay, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

One of the oldest examples of adaptive management is an effort to restore Colorado River habitats by the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Colorado River ecosystems were originally damaged by water control measures following the completion of the Glen Canyon Dam at the northern edge of the Grand Canyon in 1963. The dam was built to store water for portions of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, as well as to provide hydroelectric power. Water flow management has caused severe ecological damage in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park. This includes large-scale erosion, including the loss of sandy beaches, invasion by non-native species, and the extinction of four species of native fish. Another native fish species, the humpback chub, is currently in serious decline, partly because of the purposeful introduction of predatory rainbow trout. The

StateUnit nameSpecies of concernUnit acreage
AlabamaBlowing Wind Cave National Wildlife RefugeIndiana bat, gray bat264
Fern Cave National Wildlife RefugeIndiana bat, gray bat199
Key Cave National Wildlife RefugeAlabama cavefish, gray bat1,060
Watercress Darter National Wildlife RefugeWatercress darter7
ArkansasLogan Cave National Wildlife RefugeCave crayfish, gray bat, Indiana bat, Ozark cavefish124
ArizonaBuenos Aires National Wildlife RefugeMasked bobwhite quail116,585
Leslie CanyonGila topminnow, Yaqui chub, peregrine falcon2,765
San Bernardino National Wildlife RefugeGila topminnow, Yaqui chub, Yaqui catfish, beautiful shiner, Huachuca water umbel2,369
CaliforniaAntioch Dunes National Wildlife RefugeLange's metalmark butterfly, Antioch dunes evening-primrose, Contra Costa wallflower55
Bitter Creek National Wildlife RefugeCalifornia condor14,054
Blue Ridge National Wildlife RefugeCalifornia condor897
Castle Rock National Wildlife RefugeAleutian Canada goose14
Coachella Valley National Wildlife RefugeCoachello Valley fringe-toed lizard3,592
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife RefugeCalifornia clapper rail, California least tern, salt marsh harvest mouse21,524
Ellicott Slough National Wildlife RefugeSanta Cruz long-toed salamander139
Hopper Mountain National Wildlife RefugeCalifornia condor2,471
Sacramento River National Wildlife RefugeValley elderberry longhorn beetle, bald eagle, least Bell's vireo7,884
San Diego National Wildlife RefugeSan Diego fairy shrimp, San Diego mesa mint, Otay mesa mint, California orcutt grass, San Diego button celery1,840
San Joaquin River National Wildlife RefugeAleutian Canada goose1,638
Seal Beach National Wildlife RefugeLight-footed clapper rail, California least tern911
Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife RefugeLight-footed clapper rail316
Tijuana Slough National Wildlife RefugeLight-footed clapper rail1,023

humpback chub has been listed as endangered since 1967 and has declined by 75 percent in the last 10 years alone.

As adaptive management is dependent on experimentation and manipulation, it can sometimes lead to unintended and unfortunate consequences. For example, an early effort at restoring Colorado River habitats involved sending huge amounts of water down the river. This was expected to lift sand from the river bottom and create sandy beaches, and did. However, the sand was quickly

StateUnit nameSpecies of concernUnit acreage
FloridaArchie Carr National Wildlife RefugeLoggerhead sea turtle, green sea turtle29
Crocodile Lake National Wildlife RefugeAmerican crocodile6,686
Crystal River National Wildlife RefugeWest Indian manatee80
Florida Panther National Wildlife RefugeFlorida panther23,379
Hobe Sound National Wildlife RefugeLoggerhead sea turtle, green sea turtle980
Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife RefugeFlorida scrub jay, snakeroot, scrub blazing star, Carter's mustard, papery whitlow wort, Florida bonamia, scrub lupine, highlands scrub hypericum, Garett's mint, scrub mint, pygmy gringe tree, wireweed, Florida ziziphus, scrub plum, eastern indigo snake, bluetail mole skink, sand skink659
National Key Deer RefugeKey deer8,542
St. Johns National Wildlife RefugeDusky seaside sparrow6,255
HawaiiHakalau Forest National Wildlife RefugeAkepa, akiapolaau, 'o'u, Hawaiian hawk, Hawaiian creeper32,730
Hanalei National Wildlife RefugeHawaiian stilt, Hawaiian917
Wildlife Refugecoot, Hawaiian moorhen, Hawaiian duck
Huleia National Wildlife RefugeHawaiian stilt, Hawaiian coot, Hawaiian moorhen, Hawaiian duck241
James C. CampbellHawaiian stilt, Hawaiian164
National Wildlife Refugecoot, Hawaiian moorhen, Hawaiian duck
Kakahaia National Wildlife RefugeHawaiian stilt, Hawaiian coot45
Kealia Pond National Wildlife RefugeHawaiian stilt, Hawaiian coot691
Pearl Harbor National Wildlife RefugeHawaiian stilt61
IowaDriftless Area National Wildlife RefugeIowa Pleistocene snail521
MassachusettsMassasoit National Wildlife RefugePlymouth red-bellied turtle184
MichiganKirtland's warbler Wildlife Management AreaKirtland's warbler6,535
MississippiMississippi sandhill crane National Wildlife RefugeMississippi sandhill crane19,713
MissouriOzark cavefish National Wildlife RefugeOzark cavefish42
Pilot Knob National Wildlife RefugeIndiana bat90
NebraskaKarl E. Mundt National Wildlife RefugeBald eagle19

lost again to fluctuating river flows. In 2003 attention turned to the Paria River, which supplies the Colorado River with sand. The Paria feeds into the Colorado downstream of the Glen Canyon Dam, and it is hoped that a large pulse of floodwater from the dam following natural monsoon storms will carry sand to new beaches along the Colorado. Another plan underway at the end of 2003 called for the running of high fluctuating flows of water

StateUnit nameSpecies of concernUnit acreage
NevadaAsh Meadows National Wildlife RefugeDevil's Hole pupfish, Warm Springs pupfish, Ash Meadows amargosa pupfish, Ash Meadows speckled dace, Ash Meadows naucorid, Ash Meadows blazing star, amargosa niterwort, Ash Meadows milk vetch, Ash Meadows sunray, Spring-loving centaury, Ash Meadows gumplant, Ash Meadows invesia13,268
Moapa Valley National Wildlife RefugeMoapa dace32
OklahomaOzark Plateau National Wildlife RefugeOzark big-eared bat, gray bat2,208
OregonBear Valley National Wildlife RefugeBald eagle4,200
Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for Columbian White-tail DeerColumbian white-tailed deer2,750
Nestucca Bay National Wildlife RefugeAleutian Canada goose457
South DakotaKarl E. Mundt National Wildlife RefugeBald eagle1,044
TexasAttwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife RefugeAttwater's greater prairie chicken8,007
Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife RefugeBlack-capped vireo, Golden-cheeked warbler14,144
Virgin IslandsGreen Cay National Wildlife RefugeSt. Croix ground lizard14
Sandy Point National Wildlife RefugeLeatherback sea turtle327
VirginiaJames River National Wildlife RefugeBald eagle4,147
Mason Neck National Wildlife RefugeBald eagle2,276
WashingtonJulia Butler Hansen Refuge for Columbian White-tail DeerColumbian white-tailed deer2,777
WyomingMortenson Lake National Wildlife RefugeWyoming toad1,776
source: "National Wildlife Refuges Established for Endangered Species," in America's National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, 2004 [Online] [accessed February 10, 2004]

through the Grand Canyon for three months—this may kill rainbow trout eggs and reduce the numbers of this non-native species. Native fish species tend to inhabit side channels, and are less likely to be affected. There are also plans in place to warm water released from the dam, which the Fish and Wildlife Service believes would aid endangered native fish species.


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was established to address diverse environmental issues on an international level. Many of its conventions have been extremely valuable in protecting global biodiversity and natural resources. UNEP has also helped to regulate pollution and the use of toxic chemicals.

Amphibians• Mussel, ring pink (=golf stick pearly)• Bat, Ozark big-eared
• Frog, California red-legged• Mussel, winged mapleleaf• Bear, grizzly
• Salamander, Cheat Mountain• Pearlymussel, Higgin's eye• Bear, Louisiana black
• Salamander, Santa Cruz long-toed• Pearlymussel, orange-footed pimpleback• Deer, Columbian white-tailed
• Toad, Arroyo• Pearlymussel, pink mucket• Deer, Key
• Toad, Wyoming• Pigtoe, rough• Ferret, black-footed
Birds• Pocketbook, fat• Fox, San Joaquin kit
• Akepa, Hawaii• Riffleshell, northern• Jaguar
• AkiapolaauCrustaceans• Jaguarundi
• Albatross, short-tailed• Cambarus aculabrum (crayfish with no common name)• Manatee, West Indian (Florida)
• Blackbird, Yellow-shouldered• Fairy shrimp, riverside• Mouse, Alabama beach
• Bobwhite, masked (quail)• Fairy shrimp, San Diego• Mouse, Key Largo cotton
• Broadbill, Guam• Tadpole shrimp, vernal pool• Mouse, salt marsh harvest
• Caracara, Audubon's crestedFishes• Mouse, southeastern beach
• Condor, California• Catfish, Yaqui• Ocelot
• Coot, Hawaiian• Cavefish, Alabama• Panther, Florida
• Crane, Mississippi sandhill• Cavefish, Ozark• Pronghorn, Sonoran
• Crane, whooping• Chub, bonytail• Puma, eastern
• Creeper, Hawaii• Chub, humpback• Rabbit, lower Keys
• Crow, Mariana• Chub, Oregon• Rabbit, riparian brush
• Curlew, Eskimo• Chub, Yaqui• Rat, Morro Bay kangaroo
• Duck, Hawaiian• Dace, Ash Meadows speckled• Rat, rice (=silver rice)
• Duck, Laysan• Dace, Moapa• Rat, Tipton kangaroo
• Eider, spectacled• Darter, watercress• Sea-lion, Steller (=northern)
• Eider, Stellar's• Gambusia, Pecos• Seal, Hawaiian monk
• Elepaio, Ohau• Goby, tidewater• Squirrel, Delmarva Peninsula fox
• Falcon, Northern Aplomado• Madtom, Neosho• Squirrel, Virginia northern flying
• Finch, Laysan• Madtom, pygmy• Whale, blue
• Finch, Nihoa• Minnow, Rio Grande silvery• Whale, bowhead
• Flycatcher, Southwestern Willow• Poolfish (=killifish), Pahrump• Whale, finback
• Gnatcatcher, Coastal California• Pupfish, Ash Meadows Amargosa• Whale, gray
• Goose, Hawaiian (=nene)• Pupfish, desert• Whale, humpback
• Hawk, Hawaiian• Pupfish, Devils Hole• Whale, right
• Jay, Florida scrub• Pupfish, Warm Springs• Whale, Sei
• Kingfisher, Guam Micronesian• Salmon, Chinook• Whale, sperm
• Kite, Everglade snail• Shiner, beautiful• Wolf, gray
• Millerbird, Nihoa• Shiner, Pecos bluntnose• Wolf, Mexican
• Moorhen (=gallilnule), Hawaiian common• Shiner, Topeka• Wolf, red
• Moorhen, Mariana common• Squawfish, Colorado• Woodrat, Key Largo
• Murrelet, marbled• Sturgeon, gulfReptiles
• 'O'u (honeycreeper)• Sturgeon, pallid• Anole, Culebra Island giant
• Owl, northern spotted• Sturgeon, shortnose• Crocodile, American
• Pelican, brown• Sturgeon, white, Kootenai River population• Lizard, blunt-nosed leopard
• Plover, pipin• Sucker, Lost River• Lizard, Coachella Valley fringe-toed
• Plover, western snowy (Pacific coastal)• Sucker, Razorback• Lizard, St. Croix ground
• Prairie chicken, Attwater's greater• Sucker, short-nose• Skink, blue-tailed mole
• Pygmy owl, cactus ferruginous• Topminnow, Gila (including Yaqui)• Skink, sand
• Rail, California clapperInsects• Snake, Atlantic salt marsh
• Rail, light-footed clapper• Beetle, American burying• Snake, Eastern indigo
• Rail, Yuma clapper• Beetle, valley elderberry longhorn• Snake, giant garter
• Stilt, Hawaiian• Butterfly, Karner blue• Snake, northern copperbelly water
• Stork, wood• Butterfly, Lange's metalmark• Tortoise, desert
• Swiftlet, Vanikoro• Butterfly, Quino checkerspot• Tortoise, gopher
• Tern, California least• Butterfly, Schaus swallowtail• Turtle, green sea
• Tern, least (interior)• Butterfly, Smith's blue• Turtle, hawksbill sea
• Tern, roseate• Dragonfly, Hine's emerald• Turtle, Kemp's (=Atlantic) ridley sea
• Vireo, black-capped• Naucorid, Ash Meadows• Turtle, leatherback sea
• Vireo, least Bell'sMammals• Turtle, loggerhead sea
• Warbler, Bachman's• Bat, gray• Turtle, Plymouth redbelly
• Warbler, golden-cheeked• Bat, Hawaiian hoary• Turtle, ringed map (=sawback)
• Warbler, Kirtland's• Bat, IndianaSnails
• White-eye, bridled• Bat, lesser (=Sanborn's) long-nosed• Snail, Iowa pleistocence
• Woodpecker, red-cockaded• Bat, little Mariana fruit• Snail, Oahu tree
Clams• Bat, Mariana Fruit• Snail, Stock Island tree
• Clubshell
• Fanshell
source: "Threatened and Endangered Animal Species Found on the National Wildlife Refuge System," in America's National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, 2004 [Online] [accessed February 10, 2004]
Aconitum noveboracense—northern wild monkshoodHesperomanni arborescens—no common name
Aeschynomene virginica—sensitive joint-vetchHowellia aquatilus—water howellia
Agalinis acuta—sandplain gerardiaHymenoxys aculis var. glabra—lakeside daisy
Amaranthus brownii—Brown's pigweedIris lacustris—Dwarf Lake iris
Amaranthus pumilus—seabeach amaranthIsodendrion laurifolium—aupaka
Apios priceana—Price's potato beanIvesia kingii var. eremica—Ash Meadows ivesia
Arenaria paludicola—marsh sandwortLespedeza leptosyachya—prairie bush clover
Aristida chasae—no common nameLiatris ohlingerae—scrub blazingstar
Asclepias meadii—Mead's milkweedLilaeopsis schaffneriana var. recurva—Huachuca water umbel
Asimina tetramera—four-petal pawpawLobelia gaudichaudii spp. koolauensis—no common name
Asplenium scolopendrium var. americana—American hart's-tongue fernLobelia oahuensis—no common name
Astragalus phoenix—Ash Meadows milk-vetchLomatium bradshawii—Bradshaw's desert parsley
Boltonia decurrens—Decurrent false asterManihot walkerae—Walker's manioc
Bonamia grandiflora—Florida bonamiaMariscus pennatiformis ssp. bryanii—no common name
Calyptranthes thomasiana—Thomas' lidflowerMentzelia leucophylla—Ash Meadows blazing star
Centaurium namophilum—spring-loving centauryNitrophila mohavensis—Amargosa niterwort
Cereus eriophorus var. fragrans—fragrant prickly appleOenothera deltoides ssp. howellii—Antioch Dunes evening primose
Cereus robinii—Key tree-cactusOrcuttia californica—California orcutt grass
Chamaesyce garberi (=Euphorbia garberi) Garber's spurgeOxypolis canbyi—Canby's dropwort
Chamaesyce rockii—'akokoOxytropis campestris var. chartacea—Fassett's locoweed
Chionanthus pygmaeus—pygmy fringe-treeParonychia chartacea (=Nyachia pulvinata)—Papery whitlow wort
Chorizante pungens var pungens—Monterey spineflowerPenstemon haydenii—blowout penstemon
Cirsium pitcheri—Pitcher's thistlePeperomia wheeleri—Wheeler's peperomia
Clermontia pyrularia—'oha waiPhlegmariurus nutans—wawae'iole
Clitoria fragrans—Pigeon wingsPhyllostegia hirsuta—no common name
Cordylanthus maritimus ssp. maritimus—salt marsh bird's-beakPhyllostegia racemosa—kiponapona
Cordylanthus palmatus—palmate-bracted bird's-beakPlatanthera leucophaea—eastern prairie fringed orchid
Coryphantha sneedii var. robustispina—Pima pineapple cactusPlatanthera praeclara—western prairie fringed orchid
Coryphantha sneedii var. sneedii—Sneed pincushion cactusPogogyne abramsii—San Diego mesa mint
Cyanea acuminata—hahaPogogyne nudiuscula—Otay mesa mint
Cyanea humboldtiana—hahaPolygonella basiramia (=P. ciliata var. b.)—Wireweed
Cyanea koolauensis—hahaPolystichum aleuticum—Aleutian shield-fern
Cyanea schipmanii—hahaPritchardia remota—loulu
Cyrtandra subumbellata—ha'iwalePrunus geniculata—scrub plum
Cyrtandra viridiflora—ha'iwalePteris lydgatei—no common name
Dicerandra christmaii—Garett's mintSanicula purpurea—no common name
Echinocereus fendleri var. kuenzleri—Kuenzler hedgehog cactusSarracenia oreophila—green pitcher plant
Enceliopsis nudicaulis var. corrugata—Ash Meadows sunraySchiedea verticillata—whorled schiedea
Eriogonum longifolium var. gnaphalifolium—scrub buckwheatSchwalbea americana—American chaffseed
Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii—San Diego button celerySclerocactus glaucus—Unita Basin hookless cactus
Erysimum capitatum var. angustatum—Contra Costa wallflowerSedum integrifolium leedyi—Leedy's roseroot
Eugenia woodburyana—no common nameSerianthes nelsonii—Hayun lagu
Frankenia johnstonii—Johnston's frankeniaSesbania tomentosa—'ohai
Gardenia manii—nanu, Na'uSidalcea nelsoniana—Nelson's checkermallow
Goetzea elegans—beautiful goetzeaStahlia monosperma—cobana negra
pratensis—Ash Meadows gumplant Grindelia fraxino -Tetraplasandra gymnocarpa—no common name
Harrisia portorricensis—Higo chumboThymophylla tephroleuca—ashy dogweed
Helianthus pardoxius—Pecos sunflowerTrifolium stoloniferum—running buffalo clover
Helonias bullata—Swamp pinkViola oahuensis—no common name
source: "Threatened and Endangered Plant Species Found on the National Wildlife Refuge System," in America's National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, 2004 [Online] [accessed February 10, 2004]

Convention on Biological Diversity

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity was set up to conserve biodiversity and to promote the sustainable use of biodiversity. The Convention supports national efforts in the documentation and monitoring of biodiversity, the establishment of refuges and other protected areas, and the restoration of degraded ecosystems. It also supports goals related to the maintenance of traditional knowledge of sustainable resource use, the prevention of invasive species introductions, and the control of invasive species that are already present. Finally, it funds education programs promoting public awareness of the value of natural resources.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement administered under UNEP which regulates international trade in wildlife. CITES is perhaps the single most important international agreement relating to endangered species and has contributed critically to the protection of many threatened species. The international wildlife trade is estimated to involve hundreds of millions of specimens annually.

CITES was first drafted in 1963 at a meeting of the IUCN, and went into effect in 1975. As of 2004, CITES

Public law
State and unitWilderness nameWilderness acresRefuge acresNumberDate
Alaska MaritimeAleutian Islands1,300,000.003,465,246.7996–48712-02-80
Alaska MaritimeBering Sea81,340.000.0091–50410-23-70
Alaska MaritimeBogoslof175.000.0091–50410-23-70
Alaska MaritimeChamisso455.000.0093–63201-03-75
Alaska MaritimeForrester Island2,832.000.0091–50410-23-70
Alaska MaritimeHazy Island32.000.0091–50410-23-70
Alaska MaritimeSemidi250,000.000.0096–48712-02-80
Alaska MaritimeSimeonof25,855.000.0094–55710-19-76
Alaska MaritimeSt. Lazaria65.000.0091–50410-23-70
Alaska MaritimeTuxedni5,566.000.0091–50410-23-70
Alaska MaritimeUnimak910,000.000.0096–48712-02-80
ArcticMollie Beattie8,000,000.0019,285,922.4096–48712-02-80
Yukon DeltaAndreafsky1,300,000.0019,166,094.4896–48712-02-80
Yukon DeltaNunivak600,000.000.0096–48712-02-80
State total18,689,348.5558,985,600.12
Cabreza PrietaCabreza Prieta803,418.00860,041.32101–62811-28-90
State total1,343,444.001,574,610.90
Big LakeBig Lake2,143.8011,036.1094–55710-19-76
State total2,143.8011,036.10
State total9,172.0015,404.53
Leadville NFHMount Massive2,560.003,065.8896–56012-22-80
State total2,560.003,065.88
Cedar KeysCedar Keys379.00891.1592–36408-07-72
Great White HeronFlorida Keys1,900.00192,787.6893–63201-03-75
Island BayIsland Bay20.2420.2491–50410-23-70
J.N. Ding DarlingJ.N. Ding Darling2,619.136,388.2894–55710-19-76
Key WestFlorida Keys2,019.00208,308.1793–63201-03-75
Lake WoodruffLake Woodruff1,066.0021,559.0294–55710-19-76
National Key DeerFlorida Keys (1)2,278.008,952.3193–63201-03-75
National Key DeerFlorida Keys (2)0.000.0097–21106-30-82
Passage KeyPassage Key36.3763.8791–50410-23-70
Pelican IslandPelican Island5.505,375.9391–50410-23-70
St. MarksSt. Marks17,350.0067,623.0793–63201-03-75
State total51,252.17542,812.58
Blackbeard IslandBlackbeard Island3,000.005,617.6493–63210-23-70
Wolf IslandWolf Island5,125.825,125.8293–63201-03-75
State total362,106.82402,145.45
Crab OrchardCrab Orchard4,050.0043,888.5294–55710-19-76
State total4,050.0043,888.52
Public law
State and unitWilderness nameWilderness acresRefuge acresNumberDate
State total8,345.6043,425.77
MoosehornBaring Unit4,680.0027,680,4593–63201-03-75
MoosehornBirch Islands Unit6.000.0091–50410-23-70
MoosehornEdmunds Unit2,706.000.0091–50410-23-70
State total7,392.0027,680.45
State total2,420.002,701.85
HuronHuron Islands147.50146.8591–50410-23-70
Michigan IslandsMichigan Islands12.00597.3991–50410-23-70
State total25,309.5095,989.05
State total6,180.0096,692.31
State total7,730.0021,745.86
Medicine LakeMedicine Lake11,366.0031,484.0194–55710-19-76
Red Rock LakesRed Rock Lakes32,350.0051,744.4194–55710-19-76
UL BendUL Bend (1)20,819.0056,049.5694–55710-19-76
UL BendUL Bend (2)0.000.0098–14010-31-83
State total64,535.00139,277.98
Fort NiobraraFort Niobrara4,635.0019,132.5394–55710-19-76
State total4,635.0019,132.53
New Jersey
Edwin B. ForsytheBrigantine6,681.0045,191.1393–63201-03-75
Great SwampGreat Swamp3,660.007,530.9590–53209-28-68
State total10,341.0052,722.08
New Mexico
Bitter lakeSalt Creek9,621.0026,608.6491–50410-23-70
Bosque Del ApacheChupadea Unit5,289.0057,191.1093–63201-03-75
Bosque Del ApacheIndian Well Unit5,139.000.0093–63201-03-75
Bosque Del ApacheLittle San Pascual Unit19,859.000.0093–63201-03-75
State total39,908.0081,799.74
North Carolina
State total8,784.9316,411.09
North Dakota
Chase LakeChase Lake4,155.004,449.4793–63201-03-75
State total9,732.0031,353.46
West Sister IslandWest Sister Island77.0080.1393–63201-03-75
State total77.0080.13
Wichita MountainsCharons Garden Unit5,723.0059,019.6091–5010-23-70
Wichita MountainsNorth Mountain Unit2,847.000.0091–50410-23-70
State total8,570.0059,019.60

safeguards approximately 5,000 animal species and 28,000 plant species worldwide. These are listed in three separate CITES appendices depending on degree of endangerment. Appendix I includes species that are in immediate danger of extinction. CITES generally prohibits international trade of these species. Appendix II lists species that are likely to become in danger of extinction without strict protection from international trade. Permits may be obtained

Public law
State and unitWilderness nameWilderness acresRefuge acresNumberDate
Oregon IslandsOregon Islands (1)21.001,079.6191–50410-23-70
Oregon IslandsOregon Islands (2)459.000.0095–45010-11-78
Oregon IslandsOregon Islands (3)445.060.00104–33311-12-96
Three Arch RocksThree Arch Rocks15.0015.0091–50410-23-70
State total940.061,095.61
South Carolina
Cape RomainCape Romain29,000.0065,224.9493–63201-03-75
State total29,000.0065,224.94
CopalisWashington Islands60.8060.8091–50410-23-70
Flattery RocksWashington Islands125.00125.0091–50410-23-70
Quillayute NeedlesWashington Islands300.20300.2091–50410-23-70
San Juan IslandsSan Juan Islands353.00448.5394–55710-19-76
State total839.00934.53
Gravel IslandWisconsin Islands27.0027.0091–50410-23-70
Green BayWisconsin Islands2.002.0091–50410-23-70
State total29.0029.00
Grand total20,698,845.4362,290,453.29
As of 9/30/2002
source: "Wilderness Areas in National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries," in Division of Realty, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, September 30, 2002 [Online] [accessed February 11, 2004]

for the trade of Appendix II species only if trade will not harm the survival prospects of the species in the wild. Appendix III lists species whose trade is regulated in one or more nations. Any member nation can list a species in Appendix III to request international cooperation in order to prevent unsustainable levels of international trade. Nations agree to abide by CITES rules voluntarily. In 2004 there were 164 nations party to the agreement.

Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals

The Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also known as the CMS or Bonn Convention) recognizes that certain migratory species cross national boundaries and require protection throughout their range. This convention aims to "conserve terrestrial, marine, and avian migratory species throughout their range." CMS was originally signed in Bonn, Germany in 1979 and went into force in November 1983. As of February 2004, 85 nations in Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania were involved in the agreement. The United States and several other nations are not official parties to the agreement but nonetheless abide by its rules.

CMS provides two levels of protection to migratory species. Appendix I species are endangered and strictly protected. There are currently 107 species in this category, including the Siberian crane, white-tailed eagle, hawksbill turtle, Mediterranean monk seal, and Dama gazelle. Appendix II lists species that are less severely threatened but would nonetheless benefit from international cooperative agreements. Appendix II agreements have been drawn up for groups such as European bats, Mediterranean and Black Sea cetaceans, Baltic and North Sea cetaceans, Wadden Sea seals, African-Eurasian migratory water birds, and marine turtles. In February 2004 the CMS announced the latest agreement to come into force, the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels. Because these birds are highly migratory, their conservation requires broad international agreements in addition to efforts by individual nations.

Protected Areas

The IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) is the leading international body dedicated to the selection, establishment, and management of national parks and protected areas. It has helped set up many natural areas around the world for the protection of plant and animal species, and also maintains a database of protected areas. Protected areas often consist of a core zone where wildlife cannot legally be disturbed by human beings, surrounded by "buffer zones," transitional spaces that act as shields for the core zone. On the periphery are areas for managed human living. In 1998 there were 30,000 protected areas worldwide, covering 13.2 million square kilometers of land, freshwater habitat, and ocean. The terrestrial portion of the network, which is by far the largest, accounted for 11.7 million square kilometers—nearly 8 percent of the world's land area. A protected area is defined as "an area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means."

Conservation biology theory advocates that protected areas should be as large as possible in order to increase biological diversity and to buffer refuges from outside pressures. The world's largest protected areas are Greenland National Park (Greenland), Ar-Rub'al-khali Wildlife Management Area (Saudi Arabia), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Australia), Qiang Tang Nature Reserve (China), Cape Churchill Wildlife Management Area (Canada), and the Northern Wildlife Management Zone (Saudi Arabia).


Although some animal lovers object to caging wild species and keeping them in unnatural enclosures, zoos play one absolutely critical role—fostering interest in animal species, biodiversity, and conservation. In fact, the majority of zoo animals are not collected from the wild but bred in captivity. For example, among U.S. zoos, 90 percent of mammals and 74 percent of birds added to zoo collections since 1985 were born in captivity. Zoos have also contributed significantly to the survival of some highly endangered species through captive breeding efforts.

Captive Breeding

The majority of captive breeding efforts take place at zoos. Captive breeding has increased the number of many endangered species, and in several cases, saved them from certain extinction. Captive breeding has helped increase population sizes of species such as the California condor and the black-footed ferret. Both these species have thrived in captive breeding efforts, making reintroductions into wild habitat possible. Captive breeding offers the greatest hope for survival of additional species as well, including the highly endangered Florida panther. Although some species are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity, including the giant panda, many species have been bred in captivity, including over 3,000 species of vertebrates—some 19 percent of mammal species and 10 percent of bird species. A small selection of the many ongoing captive breeding efforts and the institutions leading the efforts include: the giant panda (San Diego Zoo) in California; Guam rail (Lincoln Park Zoological Gardens) in Chicago, Illinois; white rhinoceros (Fort Worth Zoological Park) in Texas; Mexican gray wolf (Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum) in Tucson, Arizona; wattled crane (Franklin Park Zoo) in Boston, Massachusetts; and the Chinese alligator (Bronx Zoo) in New York. Species Survival Plans for captive breeding programs are organized by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA).

Captive breeding is not without its critics, however, who charge that it is costly, and that funds would be better used to conserve natural habitats. Critics also charge that captive breeding is able to focus only on a few charismatic species, and that it often gives the false impression that the battle against extinction is being won.

A New Role For Zoos

At one time, zoos kept animals tightly caged and in conditions that were unnatural and unhealthy. Today, however, many zoos have been redesigned to house animals in areas more similar to their natural habitats. For many people, a zoo is the only place to see wildlife, including endangered species. Many zoos have developed public education programs tying zoo exhibits to natural ecology. Some zoos have also evolved from being "menageries" for the pleasure of humans to living museums and ecological conservation centers for species.

Zoos and aquariums also constitute an extraordinary base of data for field conservation operations. The aim is to apply expertise on animal health, nutrition, handling, and reproduction to the needs of animals in the wild. The Bronx Zoo in New York is pioneering new efforts to extend its expertise into field study. With habitats for large animals becoming increasingly degraded, Bronx Zoo veterinarians are closely monitoring animal health in the field. Zoo resources are also being directed towards conservation. Bronx-based conservationists are working with national governments, local politicians, and international aid agencies to develop measures to preserve habitat and protect wildlife. One particular goal is to transfer technology and expertise to developing countries so that they can develop their own conservation efforts.