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Endangered Species Protection

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted in 1973 to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as an outcome of economic growth and development.

Background

A species of plant or animal is considered endangered if it is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.  A species is considered threatened if it is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future. Species can be listed as endangered in two ways: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (also called the National Marine Fisheries Service or NMFS) can directly list a species through its candidate assessment program, or an individual or organizational petition may request that the FWS or NMFS list a species.

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CropLife America's Position

  • Habitat destruction is one of the biggest challenges to biodiversity and species stability. The use of agricultural technologies, like crop protection products, increases land productivity, reducing the need to farm additional land and contributing to biodiversity conservation.
  • Pesticide products help maintain habitat for endangered species by controlling the growth of noxious and harmful weeds that invade their habitat.
  • Lawsuits alleging that EPA’s methodology for assessing risks to endangered species is inadequate have slowed EPA efforts to assess potential pesticide risks to listed species.
  • The ESA is a necessary and valuable program but has inherent issues that need to be rectified in order to streamline the consultation process between EPA and the Services.
     
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