Donate Sign up for e-network
CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Find out more from the Center for Biological Diversity:
Endangered Species Act in Peril
Tuscaloosa News, December 26, 2008

Endangered Species Anniversary
By Ashley Boyd

Some may be surprised to learn that December is more than a month of good cheer. December 2008 has been anything but a month of celebration. The economic recession certainly hasn't done much to boost our feelings of positivity. But even in the midst of all the bad, there is always some good. December this year has been good for Alabama, after Alabama played its way to the SEC Championship game, and coach Nick Saban was named AP Coach of the Year. While December of this year has had some remarkable moments, December 28 of each year remembers a monumental piece of legislation.

December 28 of this year marks the 35th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, an passed by Nixon to protect all critically endangered species and their dependent ecosystems. Included in the list are plants, invertebrates and vertebrates.

With 117 species on the national endangered species list, the state of Alabama has the third highest ranking. Vertebrae species in Alabama include the gray bat, the leatherback sea turtle, the loggerhead sea turtle, the Alabama sturgeon, the red-cockaded woodpecker along with several different varieties of mussels, snails and fish. Native Alabama plants include 2 types of Alabama ferns, Tennessee yellow-eyed grass, 2 types of leather flower plants, pondberry, leafy prairie clover along with a host of other varieties.

After tuning into "Planet in Peril," which stars Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Lisa Ling as they explore some of today's most pressing environmental issues, I learned that I was grossly uneducated about today's endangered species. The global quest for money hasn't done much for today's animal population. On the show that aired Christmas Day, Anderson Cooper dived into waters near Costa Rica to explore the threatened great white shark population and journeyed to the Congo where he got a taste for the native gorilla's threatened habitat. CNN new comer Lisa Ling flew to Chad where she reported on the fastly dwindling number of wild elephants because of poachers. As the global demand for ivory increases, poachers are quickly wiping out what is already an endangered species.

With New Years right around the corner, I definitely think it's time to remember the Endangered Species Act and work to protect our state's and the world's endangered species.

© Copyright 2008, TuscaloosaNews.com

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton