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To list or not to list?Trends in endangered species metrics                               An EcoWest.org                  ...
Notable endangered species in the West Species      Where found?           Conflicts and public policy issues Gray        ...
Endangered species clustered in subset of countiesEcoWest.org   Source: Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in t...
Number of listed speciesEcoWest.org         Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service   1/20/2013   4
Number of species protected by the ESA              Nixon/   Carter   Reagan             Bush I               Clinton   Bu...
Number of species listed per year              Nixon/   Carter   Reagan          Bush I                 Clinton   Bush II ...
Listings influenced by who’s in the White House               Average number of species listed per year (1974-2011)7060504...
Waiting to board the ark: a backlog of candidates                         Number of candidates for ESA protection350300250...
Number of candidates for ESA protectionEcoWest.org        Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service   1/20/2013   9
Reasons for ESA delistings since 1973                                                                     Extinct         ...
Download more slides and other resources                         ecowest.org              Contact us by e-mailing mitch@ce...
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Trends in endangered species listings

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Where do endangered species live? How has the number of threatened and endangered species changed over time? In this EcoWest.org presentation, we illustrate some trends in ESA listings.

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  • Endangered species figure prominently in many Western environmental issues and the region is home to a number of biodiversity hotspots. In this EcoWest presentation, we show where federally protected species are found and review the history of Endangered Species Act listings.
  • Narrative: There are more than 1,200 endangered species in the U.S., but a small subset tends to generate the lion’s share of attention. Here are some of the notable endangered species in the West, where they’re found, and how they’re figured into public policy debates. Although species protected by the ESA sometimes do have significant economic and regulatory impacts, most of the plants and animals protected by the law are not lighting rods for controversy. Source: EcoWestURL: ecowest.org
  • Narrative: Let’s take a look atwhereendangered species live. This map analyzes endangered species by counties. You can see that there is often considerable variation within single states like California and Nevada, where one county may have more than 10 listed species while an adjoining county has none. Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, the Southwest, Appalachia, and Florida stand out for their large number of listed species, but many U.S. counties, especially in the Midwest, have no threatened or endangered species.Source: Stein, Bruce A., Lynn S. Kutner, Jonathan S. Adams, Nature Conservancy (U.S.), and Association for Biodiversity Information. Precious Heritage : The Status of Biodiversity in the United States.New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.URL: hhttp://www.natureserve.org/publications/preciousHeritage.jsp
  • Narrative: Here’s the state-by-state breakdown. Hawaii has far and away the most listed species, with nearly 400. The archipelago’s native biodiversity, which includes many endemic species that have evolved in isolation and are found nowhere else on Earth, has been devastated by the introduction of non-native plants and animals. On the mainland, California has the most listed species, followed by Alabama, Florida, Texas, and Tennessee. The Dakotas are at the bottom of the list.Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceURL: http://www.fws.gov/ecos/
  • Narrative: Species are supposed to be added to the endangered list solely on the basis of biology and whether they’re endangered, regardless of the economic impact, but many studies of the act have found that politics frequently intrude in the listing process. This chart shows how many species have been listed as threatened or endangered, on a cumulative basis. Although the ESA was enacted in 1973, some species were listed under a precursor to the law in the late 1960s. If you overlay the terms of the U.S. presidents, you can see that listings really leveled off during George W. Bush’s two terms.Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceURL: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/ http://www.fws.gov/ecos/ajax/tess_public/pub/speciesCountByYear.jsp
  • Narrative: Here’s another look at the same data. This graph shows how many species were listed as threatened or endangered each year. That sharp decline around 1995 is due to a moratorium on new listings that was enacted by Congress after the Republican Revolution of 1994.Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceURL: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/ http://www.fws.gov/ecos/ajax/tess_public/pub/speciesCountByYear.jsp
  • Narrative: This graphic shows how many species each president listed under the ESA, on average, per year in office. Environmentalists had a tough time getting species listed during George W. Bush’s two terms, but the rate under Ken Salazar’s Interior Department is less than half the rate when Bruce Babbitt was in charge of Interior during the Clinton administration.Source: Center for Biological Diversity, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Marris, Emma, “Endangered Species Chart a FreshCourse,” Nature online, March 10, 2009.URL: http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090310/full/news.2009.148.htmlNotes: Table does not include delistings or the 131 species listed before 1974.
  • Narrative: Many species that the Fish and Wildlife Service has judged at risk of extinction are not receiving protection from the ESA. By the mid 2000s, nearly 300 had been declared as “candidates,” meaning their listing was biologically “warranted but precluded” by budgetary constraints. This list is akin to the queue waiting to board Noah’s Ark because species that are candidates don’t receive the same strong federal protections as threatened and endangered species. The Obama administration has made some progress in reducing the number of candidates from about 250 at the start of the first term to 192 in November 2012.Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceURL: http://ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/pub/SpeciesReport.do?listingType=C
  • Narrative: As with endangered species, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, the Southwest, Appalachia, and Florida tend to have the most candidate species.Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceURL: http://www.fws.gov/ecos/
  • Narrative: We’ve talked about how species get added to the list, but what about de-listings under the ESA? This hasn’t happened very often since 1973—less than 50 times. In 20 cases, a species was declared recovered and no longer in need of ESA protection. Eighteen times, the government decided the original listing was in error, often because of taxonomic changes or the discovery of new populations. In nine cases, a species protected by the ESA has been declared extinct. At a high level, this graphic summarizes the story of the ESA: hardly any species that have received federal protection have gone extinct, but less than 2 percent of listed species have recovered sufficiently so they could be delisted.Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceURL: http://ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/pub/delistingReport.jsp
  • Transcript of "Trends in endangered species listings"

    1. 1. To list or not to list?Trends in endangered species metrics An EcoWest.org presentation 1/20/2013
    2. 2. Notable endangered species in the West Species Where found? Conflicts and public policy issues Gray Northern Rockies and Opposition from ranchers and others animates wolf Southwest debate over delisting of Northern Rockies population; Southwest wolves doing poorly. Salmon Pacific Coast and Major impacts on dam operations, but also Pacific Northwest affected by land-use changes, such as logging of headwaters habitat. Spotted Pacific Coast states Need old-growth forests and have contributed to owl (northern) and significant declines in logging in the Pacific Southwest (Mexican) Northwest. Desert Mojave Desert of Once threatened to derail growth in Las Vegas; tortoise Southern California now coming into conflict with solar energy and Nevada proposals. Delta Sacramento-San Continuing to influence management of the hub smelt Joaquin Delta in California’s water works. Canada Rocky Mountains Impacts ski industry and other development in lynx high-elevation areas.EcoWest.org 1/20/2013 2
    3. 3. Endangered species clustered in subset of countiesEcoWest.org Source: Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United States 1/20/2013 3
    4. 4. Number of listed speciesEcoWest.org Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1/20/2013 4
    5. 5. Number of species protected by the ESA Nixon/ Carter Reagan Bush I Clinton Bush II Obama 1600 Ford 1400 12001000 800 600 400 200 0EcoWest.org Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1/20/2013 5
    6. 6. Number of species listed per year Nixon/ Carter Reagan Bush I Clinton Bush II Obama140 Ford12010080604020 Congressional moratorium 0EcoWest.org Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1/20/2013 6
    7. 7. Listings influenced by who’s in the White House Average number of species listed per year (1974-2011)706050403020 10 0 Nixon/Ford Carter Reagan Bush I Clinton Bush II ObamaEcoWest.org Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Center for Biological Diversity 1/20/2013 7
    8. 8. Waiting to board the ark: a backlog of candidates Number of candidates for ESA protection350300250200 150 100 50 0 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012EcoWest.org Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1/20/2013 8
    9. 9. Number of candidates for ESA protectionEcoWest.org Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1/20/2013 9
    10. 10. Reasons for ESA delistings since 1973 Extinct 9 Recovered 20 Original Data in Error - Act Amendment 1 Original Data in Error - Erroneous Data 1 Original Data in Error - New Information Discovered 6 Original Data in Error - Not a Listable Entity 3 Original Data in Error - Taxonomic Revision 7EcoWest.org Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1/20/2013 10
    11. 11. Download more slides and other resources ecowest.org Contact us by e-mailing mitch@ceaconsulting.comEcoWest.org 1/20/2013 11
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