Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, February 26, 2019

Contacts:  Stephanie Kurose, Center for Biological Diversity, (202) 849-8395, skurose@biologicaldiversity.org
Gwen Dobbs, Defenders of Wildlife, (202) 772-0269, gdobbs@defenders.org

Congress Urged to Fully Fund Endangered Species Act With $486 Million

Many Imperiled Species Currently Get No Funding for Recovery

WASHINGTON— More than 215 groups today urged the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee to increase the budget for endangered species conservation from about $252 million to $486 million.

The groups submitted a letter asking for the budgetary boost to the Endangered Species Act as part of the Interior and Environment subcommittee’s public witness day.

Hundreds of endangered species receive less than $1,000 a year for their recovery, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Many species receive no funding at all from the agency.

“The Endangered Species Act has been starved for decades, and incredible animals and plants have been pushed toward extinction because of that,” said Stephanie Kurose, an endangered species policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Enough is enough. Congress should fully fund the Act so that not one more species is lost forever.”

As today’s letter notes, to truly put imperiled species on the path to recovery, the Fish and Wildlife Service requires a budget of $486 million across five programs starting in fiscal year 2020. Critically, this includes ensuring that every listed species receives a minimum of $50,000 per year for recovery.

“Congress declared the importance of conserving wildlife when it passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973 but has failed in recent decades to provide funding necessary to fulfill the vision,” said Dr. Jacob Malcom, director of the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders of Wildlife. “We can and must do more to pull species back from the edge of extinction. This request is a blueprint for Congress to get endangered species conservation back on the right track, from listing species to private lands conservation.”

Other groups joining today’s letter include Earthjustice, NRDC and the Sierra Club.

The Endangered Species Act has successfully protected and worked to recover America’s most imperiled species for more than 45 years, despite being chronically and severely underfunded.

The Endangered Species Act is a highly effective law, saving more than 99 percent of listed species and putting hundreds more on the road to recovery. It is also extraordinarily popular. According to peer reviewed research, nine out of 10 Americans support the Act and want it either strengthened or left unchanged by Congress.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

www.biologicaldiversity.org

More press releases