Endangered Species Act

(1973)

On December 28, 1973, President Richard Nixon signed into law An Act to Provide for the Conservation of Endangered and Threatened Species of Fish, Wildlife, and Plants, and for Other Purposes, otherwise known as the Endangered Species Act. Throughout the twentieth century, naturalists and environmentalists were witnessing the extinction or near extinction of such species as the bison, the whooping crane, and even the bald eagle—the nation's symbol. While piecemeal attempts had been made to protect individual species, by the 1970s is was becoming clear that a comprehensive law to protect species and their habitat was needed. To this end, the Endangered Species Act supersedes a pair of earlier laws—the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 and the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969.


As of 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, one of the two agencies charged with enforcing the Endangered Species Act (the other is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

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American bison (Library of Congress)

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