December 28

1973 – Endangered Species Act (U.S.)


“Sadly, the Dodo and the Dinosaurs were extinct long before government regulations could adjust their ecosystems.  In more recent times, however, the Bald Eagle and the Grizzly Bear are among many species that benefited from being placed on an Endangered Species list.  Such lists help raise public awareness, and encourage policy adjustments to improve conditions for species with dwindling populations.

“Policy intervention, such as that provided by the Endangered Species Act — signed into U.S. law on December 28, 1974 — has contributed to the survival of many animals who might otherwise have disappeared from our planet.

“To be granted entry into the List, several criteria must be met, as outlined in section 4(a)(1) of the Act.  The species currently under review seems to qualify in categories 1 and 5:

“The first category refers to ‘the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of [a species’] habitat.’  It would be difficult to overstate the far-reaching effect of recent events on the habitat of the species in question.

“The fifth category refers to ‘manmade factors affecting [a species’] continued existence.’  Here, as with many previous endangered species, we again see the negative consequences of human behavior.

“It’s beside the point that this time, however, the negative behavior is self-directed.  I hereby petition that Humans be added to the current Endangered Species List.

“The Hawaiian Goose increased in number from roughly 400 in 1980, to an impressive 1,275 in 2003, prompting removal from the Endangered List.  We can only pray that our own numbers follow a similarly impressive pattern.”