Going. Going. Gone? The Animals We Risk Losing Without The Endangered Species Act.

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The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was established in 1973 to preserve species that are endangered or threatened and the ecosystems they depend on.

What qualifies a species to be listed on the endangered or threatened list? According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), “Endangered” means a species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. “Threatened” means a species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.

The ESA is on a threatened list of its own. Government officials are currently trying to weaken and eliminate the ESA with repetitive legislative attacks. Since January of this year, there have been over 46 of these attacks.

There are currently over 3,000 mammals listed as endangered or threatened on the FWS site. ESA has saved over 200 animals from extinction, like the bald eagle, gray wolf, grizzly bear, and many others. ESA is one of the strongest species protection laws in the world. So what animals would we lose without it? Almost all of them.

bald-eagle-saved

A mass extinction is when species populations drop drastically over a short period of time. These extinctions are caused by many variables. Currently we are experiencing the sixth mass animal extinction, which is caused by human actions. Human actions consist of commercial & international trade, poaching, trophy hunting, and eliminating habitats. Over the next three years, World Wildlife Fund predicts more than two-thirds of all endangered animals will be lost. Included in this list are rhinos, elephants, cheetahs, giraffes and many more. That is a scary thought!

Gone Forever. Click for the 8 animals that became extinct in 2016.

Action needs to be taken to make sure the Endangered Species Act stays in place. If we do not act now, then we will say goodbye to many more animals this year.

What animals will disappear in 2017 without the ESA?

Rhinos:
There are only 3 northern white rhinos left! They are guarded 24 hours a day against poachers and trophy hunters.

Cheetahs:
Their numbers have drastically declined to only 9% of their former range due to hunting and poaching. They will become extinct in some countries this year.

Giraffes:
Giraffes are undergoing “silent extinction,” meaning numbers in the wild are dropping drastically due to poaching and habitat loss.

Giant Tusked Bull Elephants:
Only 21 remain!
giant tusked bull elephant

Pangolins:
A scaly mammal that is killed for its meat and scales.

Malayan tigers:
Their habitats are being lost to logging, and they are poached for their meat.

Photo:Flickr/Ted

Photo: Flickr/Ted

Save these animals so they can thrive once again and your children will be able to learn about and appreciate them! The Endangered Species Act is vital for the continuation of the animal kingdom.

You can help the cheetah from becoming extinct by clicking below and tell a friend!

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Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who lives in West Michigan. Her horse and 3 dogs are her children. She loves to write and share her knowledge of equine and canine nutrition. In her spare time she likes to volunteer with animal rescues, camp with her husband and dogs, and trail ride with her horse.