Study Finds 90% of Endangered Species Recovering on Time
A new Center for Biological Diversity analysis of 110 endangered species finds that 90% are on track to meet recovery goals set by federal scientists. The review examined population trends of plants and animals protected by the Endangered Species Act in all 50 states, including gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains, Florida panthers, Aleutian Canada geese and California condors. While some researchers are questioning the effectiveness of the legislation, the analysis finds species on a positive trajectory toward recovery — and in some cases exceeding expectations.
The study analyzed population data for 110 species from the year each was placed on the endangered species list through 2011. Each species’ actual population trend and trajectory was compared to the timeline for recovery set out in government plans. Nearly all the animals and plants are recovering on time to meet federal goals. The report, which relies on data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and independent scientists, is a science-based rebuttal to attacks on the Act by critics like Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, who claims the Act is “failing badly” because only 1% of species have been recovered.