25 Years Of Failure For Endangered Species: Endangered Species Act Marks Silver Anniversary with Still No Recoveries

25 Years Of Failure For Endangered Species: Endangered Species Act Marks Silver Anniversary with Still No Recoveries

December 21, 1998

Washington, D.C. December 22, 1998 – December 28, 1998 marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Designed to protect species in danger of extinction, research indicates that the ESA is an utter failure, CEI analysts reiterated in honor of the Silver Anniversary of the Act.

Since 1973, over 1,000 species have been declared endangered or threatened by the federal government, yet not a single one has recovered due to the regulations imposed by the Act, according to CEI. Only 27 species have been removed from the list. Research by CEI and the National Wilderness Institute shows that these recoveries have nothing to do with the ESA – seven went extinct, nine were "data errors," meaning they should never have been listed. The remaining eleven either should not have been listed or recovered due to measures beyond the control of the ESA.

Researchers at CEI have long studied the impact of the Endangered Species Act on species and landowners. "Insofar as private landowners are threatened with the potential loss of the productive use of their land without compensation by the ESA, they will have a strong incentive not to provide habitat on their land, and species will suffer," stated Jonathan H. Adler, CEI’s senior director of environmental policy.

The following CEI experts are available for comment and interviews throughout the next week in response to the 25th anniversary.

  • R. J. Smith, Senior Environmental Scholar
  • Jonathan H. Adler, Senior Director of Environmental Policy
  • Ike Sugg, Adjunct Scholar
  • Fred L. Smith, Jr., President

To arrange an interview or for further information, please call Emily McGee, director of media relations, at 202-331-1010, ext. 209, 703-728-0138 (cellular), or 413-498-5022 (after December 24).