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Media Advisory, May 31, 2013

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

Media Guide: 40 Years of the Endangered Species Act — Facts, Stats, Stories and Photos

WASHINGTON— This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, the world’s most powerful law protecting plants and animals from extinction. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1973, the Act has saved hundreds of species, including bald eagles, brown pelicans, gray wolves, grizzlies, sea turtles, whales and many others.

Click on regions Caribbean Northeast Southeast Florida Great Lakes Central Rocky Mountains Gulf Coast Southwest Nevada California Northwest Hawaii Far Pacific Alaska
To find recovering species in your coverage area, check out this region-by-region map.

The Center for Biological Diversity, the nation’s leading conservation group on endangered species, has compiled hundreds of Endangered Species Act success stories in all 50 states, and is providing this guide for reporters to cover the 40th anniversary from all angles including its history, legal issues and species success stories with local, regional and national perspectives.

Endangered Species Act Benchmarks:

  • 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, 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 acres of critical habitat protected: 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.
  • A few highlights of wildlife protected under the Endangered Species Act:

    • Nesting pairs of California least terns have increased 2,819 percent;
    • San Miguel island foxes have increased by 3,830 percent;
    • The number of nesting female Atlantic green sea turtles in Florida is up by 2,206 percent;
    • El Segundo blue butterflies have increased by 22,312 percent.

    Visit our website,, or read about more than 100 Endangered Species Act success stories in all 50 states at, or contact one of our experts directly:

    National contact: Kieran Suckling, co-founder, executive director, 520-623-5252, ext. 305,
    National and Northwest contact: Noah Greenwald, director Endangered Species Program, 503-484-7495,
    Washington, D.C. contact: Bill Snape, senior counsel, Washington, D.C., 202-536-9351,
    California contact: Ileene Anderson, biologist and director Wildlands Deserts Program, 323-654-594,
    Southwest contact: Randy Serraglio, Southwest conservation advocate, 520-396-1143,
    Southeast contact: Tierra Curry, conservation biologist, 928-522-681,
    Midwest contact: Collette Adkins-Giese, staff attorney, 651-955-3821,
    Northeast contact: Mollie Matteson, conservation advocate, 802-434-288,
    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.

    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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