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Issue Alert from
Pseudo environmental groups call on Bush administration to add 225 species to endangered list
By Gretchen Randall
Date: May 6, 2004
Issue: A cadre of environmental groups and scientists, along with actor Martin Sheen, have filed a 1000 pages of legal documents with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) which administers the Endangered Species Act (ESA), asking FWS to put 225 species of plants and animals on the endangered list. Karen Suckling of the Center for Biological Diversity, spearheaded the effort which claims that these species have been waiting for listing for an average of 17 years and are now in danger of extinction.
Sixty-four of the species have been waiting for listing since 1975. The list includes 133 plants, 64 invertebrates and 29 vertebrates such as the yellow cheek darter, an Arkansas fish and the Aquarius paintbrush, a plant native to Utah.
Among the signers of the petition are the Center for Biological Diversity, the Xerces Society, the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Dr. Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University, and Society for Conservation Biology founder Dr. Michael Soulé.
Quote: Dr. Jane Goodall of the Goodall Institute is quoted in the press release as saying, "In the United States, the Endangered Species Act is an effective tool for protecting species."
Response: Wrong! In fact, over the last 30 years only twelve species out of the 1304 species listed as endangered or threatened have been saved and those were not due to ESA. The peregrine falcon was saved by a private foundation and the American Eagle recovered when DDT was banned. The ESA is not an effective tool for protecting species.
Signer, Dr. Paul Ehrlich, is known for his book, The Population Bomb (1968), in which he said, "In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now."
Response: We shouldn't listen to one of the worst predictors of the future. He actually predicted that billions would die of starvation in the mid-1980s (The End of Affluence written with wife Anne).
Fact: The Census of Marine Life, a $1 billion study begun in 2000 and expected to take the rest of the decade, has enlisted three hundred scientists from 45 countries to participate in taking this census. They reported in October 2003 that three new fish species are being discovered a week and expect 5000 new fish species will be found. They are already adding 1700 new animal and plant species each year.
Links: Press releases announcing the species petition can be found at: http://www.xerces.org/Endangered/5-5-04pressrelease.htm and http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/Programs/bdes/cp/index.html
To access the Census of Marine Life website, read census reports and see pictures of new species of fish, go to http://www.coml.org <http://www.coml.org/>
To read "The ESA at 30: A Mandate for Modernization", a report by Chairman Richard Pombo, go to: http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/issues/more/esa/whitepaper.htm
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