What Are Pros and Cons of the Endangered Species Act?


Quick Answer

The Endangered Species Act helps to revive dwindling populations of critically endangered species and promotes environmental preservation, but it may be time consuming and costly to implement. The Endangered Species Act is a legal tool used to identify and protect endangered species at the federal level in the United States. It helps to raise awareness of imperiled plant and animal species, but it can also put vulnerable species in jeopardy and takes quite a bit of time and finances to implement.

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What Are Pros and Cons of the Endangered Species Act?
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Full Answer

The Endangered Species Act was enacted in 1970 to protect and preserve endangered plants and animals for the benefit of the public. The listing of species, however, is quite often a double-edge sword. The announcement of endangered species draws attention; this is good and bad. On the positive side, the Act raises awareness among members of the public about individual species, which in turn helps people learn about the threatened species. However, the listing of species often creates a race-to-the-bottom mentality among poachers and wildlife traffickers. The scarcer plants and animals become, the more valuable they are. In that instance, the listing of species puts them in greater danger of becoming prime targets of poachers and hunters. Critics also contend the law is inflexible and extreme, but supporters praise it for helping to recover and restore critically low population levels and improving the environment on a broader level.

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