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Media Advisory, May 14, 2013

Contact: Noah Greenwald, (503) 484-7495,

Endangered Species Day May 17 Is Part of Year-long Celebration of Endangered Species Act's 40th Anniversary

What: Friday, May 17 is Endangered Species Day. This year’s event coincides with a year-long recognition of the Endangered Species Act’s first 40 years. The Act is one of the world’s most successful environmental laws, preventing extinction for 99 percent of the animals and plants under its care and putting hundreds on the road to recovery.

Who: The Center for Biological Diversity, the nation’s leading conservation group on endangered species, has experts available to talk about every facet of the Act, including its history, legal issues and species success stories with local, regional and national perspectives.

How: Contact Noah Greenwald, director of our endangered species program, visit our website,, or read about more than 100 Endangered Species Act success stories in all 50 states at

Social Media/Creative Media: The Center has an interactive map and a free Droid mobile phone app that lets you find endangered species where you are or wherever you travel. We also have free endangered species ringtones that have been downloaded more than 600,000 times in 179 countries.

Photos: The Center has photos of endangered species that are ready and available for online, print and broadcast media use. Find them here.

Since President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law in 1973, it has prevented the extinction of hundreds of plants and animals, including bald eagles, brown pelicans, gray wolves, grizzlies, and several species of sea turtles and whales.   

  • 99 percent saved from extinction: Of the more than 1,400 plants and animals placed under the care of the Act over the past four decades, more than 99 percent have been saved from extinction. To date only 10 species protected under the Act have been declared extinct, and of these eight were very likely already extinct when they were granted protection.
  • 90 percent recovery rate: A recent study of more than 100 protected species across all 50 states found that 90 percent are meeting or exceeding federal recovery guidelines and moving toward eventual removal of protected status.
  • Millions of critical habitat acres set aside: Imperiled species with protected critical habitat are twice as likely to be recovering as those without. Just since 2008, the Center for Biological Diversity has won designation of 233 million acres of critical habitat. That’s 95 percent of all critical habitat acres set aside over that period — an area larger than the entire national forest system (191 million acres), twice as large as California (105 million acres), and almost three times the size of the national park system (84 million acres).
  • Strong public support: A national poll commissioned by the Center earlier this year found that 2 out of 3 Americans want the Endangered Species Act strengthened or left alone, but not weakened.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 500,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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