These six species are about to be sacrificed for the oil and gas industry

Republicans in the western United States have been trying to whittle away the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since Donald Trump took office. Under new proposals, wildlife managers would limit protections for species designated as “threatened” (a level below endangered), consider the economic costs prior to defending a species, and de-emphasize long-term threats such as climate change.

The proposals follow Republican bills and budget riders that would remove protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states, exempt the greater sage-grouse from an ESA listing for 10 years, and increase state involvement in conservation decisions.

Those who study the ESA agree that reforms are needed – but the current proposals on the table are unlikely to solve the problems experts identify.

Robin Kundis Craig of the University of Utah says: “The focus should have been on endangered habitats from the beginning. By the time a species is named endangered, it’s a harbinger that something is wrong with the whole system.”

More than 1,600 species are listed as endangered or threatened, and the sage-grouse and others are nearing that threshold.

Here’s how certain species might be affected…

 

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