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Happy Birthday! The Endangered Species Act Turns 40

Washington, D.C. – TraceyC_Online the Blog would like to wish a very Happy 40th Birthday to the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973, (ESA).

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there are approximately 2,100 species listed under the Act today, with 1,480 found in the United States and its waters.

Penned as law on December 28, 1973, the Act not only provided for the protection of certain endangered species, it called for the conservation of ecosystems and critical supportive habitat for both threatened and endangered, fish, wildlife and plant species.

Participation by individual states was encouraged by ESA that replaced its predecessors of the 1960’s.

ESA 1973

Combining the regulatory protections and premises of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), (also penned by the U. S. in 1973), with the Convention on Nature Protection and Wildlife Preservation in the Western Hemisphere (1940), the Act sought to unite domestic and foreign wildlife preservation and conservation efforts. 

Regulatory standards allowed for the identification and listing of species falling under the protection of the ESA and granted civil and criminal prosecutorial means for violations thereof.

NOAA ESA Factsheet


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