Vermont law professor Pat Parenteau frets that “the Endangered Species Act is in jeopardy.” Though the law is “wildly popular,” says Parenteau, “hostile forces” in Washington want to kill it.
He admits that few species have successfully recovered enough to be delisted, but says that the threats to those species remain real. He also claims that “at least 227 species,” including the “whooping crane, bald eagle, American crocodile, peregrine falcon, gray wolf, and humpback whale” would have gone extinct without the act.
The Antiplanner doesn’t think the ESA did anything to recover those species. The bald eagle and peregrine falcon recovered because of the ban on DDT which happened before the law was passed. The grey wolf was never in danger, and it was transplanted back into Yellowstone and the West by popular demand, not because of the ESA. The American crocodile was saved by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, not the federal government. Pressure from anti-whaling groups protected the humpback whale, which was being hunted by people from other countries who weren’t under the jurisdiction of the Endangered Species Act.