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Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2017


The Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA or “Act”) is our nation’s most successful conservation law. Its purpose is to prevent the extinction of our most at-risk plants and animals, increase their numbers, and effect their full recovery—and eventually their removal from the endangered list. Since its enactment in 1973, the Act has been more than 99% effective at saving species under its protection from extinction, and it has put hundreds more on the road to recovery. Scientists estimate that at least 227 species would have likely gone extinct without the ESA’s passage.