Ten Stories of Hope: The Endangered Species Act at 50

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For Immediate Release: December 6, 2023

Contact:  Susan Holmes, [email protected]
Derek Goldman, [email protected]

Washington, DC— School children tending tiny turtles in Massachusetts. Researchers tracking secretive rodents at night. These are just two of the inspiring stories of wildlife conservation showcased in a new report released this week by the Endangered Species Coalition. The new report, Ten Stories of Hope: The Endangered Species Act at 50, highlights ten case studies of conservationists using different strategies to protect and recover imperiled fish, bird, plants and mammals in the U.S.

As the Endangered Species Act turns 50 years old this year, this report tells the stories of people, agencies and organizations who are working to recover species the Act protects, including the Florida grasshopper Sparrow, Chinook salmon, and the sea otter, to name a few. The report showcases conservation methods that save species, from seed-banking and outplanting, to protecting migration corridors and nesting sites; from removing dams to restoring habitat—and more. Stories about engineering innovative bat houses in Miami, and botanists rappelling cliffs as they hunt for rare plants in Hawaii.

“This report offers hope that we can restore habitats and safeguard imperiled animals and plants,” said Susan Holmes, Executive Director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “As demonstrated by the extraordinary efforts of dedicated field researchers, citizen scientists, and volunteers working to save species throughout the country, the Endangered Species Act works!”

The Endangered Species Act was signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1973, after it had passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate and 355-4 in the House. The immensely popular, successful, and historic piece of legislation has been at the core of our country’s commitment to protecting wildlife and the natural world for our children and grandchildren. 99% of species protected under the Endangered Species Act have been saved from extinction, including the humpback whale, grizzly bear, and bald eagle. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, gray whales still swim our coasts, peregrine falcons still soar our skies, and polar bears still roam the arctic tundra.

Endangered Species Coalition’s member groups nominated species for the report. A committee of distinguished scientists reviewed the nominations and chose the finalists. The full report can be viewed and downloaded here: https://www.endangered.org/ten-stories-of-hope. There is also a collection of images from the report. (Republished images need to be credited.)

The Endangered Species Coalition produces a Top 10 report annually, focusing on a different theme each year. Previous years’ reports are also available on the Coalition’s website.

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