Talk:Endangered Species Act

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Initial comments[edit]


I did two searches on Google, one with God Squad and Endangered Species the second with God Committee.

Both terms were used for what is officially (by law) called the Endangered Species Committee.

I wrote a master's thesis on the Tellico Dam and never came across "Squad" though apparently it is also used in reference to this committee.

It would be great to get more information on what other species have been brought up in front of that committee, a topic I know little about even though I know the committe was initially established as advised the by the courts (including the Supreme Court) as a remedy to the case of the snail darter, in favor of the dam.

Even though the court voted in favor of the snail darter, most of the justices (Burger at least who wrote the opinion) were not happy about it. Burger wrote that the intent of Congress was clear and as such the court had to support the snail darter.


Jim (also a newcomer)

PS--Did you read my edit of the snail darter page? While that too could be cleaned up a bit, you would probably find it interesting. Among other things I wasn't sure how to handle long quotes.


Jim -- I figured out how to do this! Anyway -- you're right, the God Squad is a colloquial name for the 7- member committee that reviews possible ESA exemptions. I saw the name in 'Environmental Law and Policy' by Salzman and Thompson -- an excellent book by the way. I have also seen the God Squad refered to in law journals, so this colloquialism seems to be at least somewhat widespread. (do a google search of 'God Squad' and 'endangered species act' if you're not convinced) I'm certainly open to debate as to how prominent of a place the name should have in the article -- it might be a good idea to begin a whole new article and look at cases where the Committee has ruled for exemptions -- this will get into spotted owl territory and get quite controversial.

Anway -- what do you say that we continue this on the discussion page of the article? -- that way we may get more folks involved. Just a thought, I'm a newcomer here.


NESARC and other groups[edit]

A recent anonymous editor has made numerous edits, but also attempted to suppress the paragraph on NESARC, with the following: "Deleted NESARC paragraph. There are dozens of groups working to either save or undermine the ESA. It is innapropriate to single one out in this review of the ESA. Fairness dictates all or none." Have logged-in Wikipedians vetted these changes? Let us take up the challenge and add paragraphs on all the major lobbying groups attempting to undercut the Act. --Wetman 05:59, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

The "God Squad"[edit]

This journalese invention is intended as a sarcastic pejorative. The article uses the phrase as if it were the normal expression: is this indicative? --Wetman 01:47, 4 October 2005 (UTC)


Since 1973, only 33 species have been delisted, seven because they went extinct and 12 more because they should not have been listed in the first place. Six more may be cases of data error, which is certainly the case with the gray whale and American alligator. The brown pelican’s and Arctic peregrine falcon’s recoveries have far more to do with the ban on the insecticide DDT than with the Endangered Species Act. 17 extinct 12 should not have been listed +6 data error =35, not 33. Is this a typo? arithmetic error? what?

Recheck your math, 7-delisted for extinctiom (not 17, like you stated in your math), 12 for mislisted, 6 for data error, and 2 for the ban of DDT. 7+12+6+2=27, which leaves 6 that have been removed from the list because they have succesfully been rehabilitated.

We now can see at least one person watched Penn & Teller's Bulls**t. I was wondering if they got their facts correct or not. (talk) 06:38, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Success or failure[edit]

Is it me, or is the whole section on whether or not the ESA has been a success or a failure overly one-sided? I don't necessarily agree that the act has not been a success. While very few species have been delisted, it is also true that very few species have gone extinct, and I believe more listed have shown recovery than have shown decline. If the ESA's purpose is to work promptly, then it may be considered a failure. However, recovery of an endangered or rare species can be a slow process. If the ESA's purpose is to prevent species from going extinct and to promote eventual recovery, then it has been, by and large, a success. --Gradient 19:47, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

This sort of undocumented rant does not belong here. --Logicalhippo

I agree completely. The success or failure section is not balanced and should be reduced to facts and peer reviewed sources. The one reference in this section is to a document from The National Center for Public Policy Research, which is an advocacy think tank with a stated free-market anti-regulation perspective. No surprise that they don't like the ESA. Some of what they say does reflect the majority opinion of environmental and resource economists, but it is overstated and only one perspective.

I'm not an expert in Wikipedia protocol and etiquitte. Can someone suggest what should be done? 17:39, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

I've addded NPOV and expert attention tags. See WP:NPOV for Wikipedia policies regarding this kind of contribution.

This section is a rant by ESA opponents. Its statements are alternatively uncited, poorly cited, provably incorrect, or unverifiable opinion. I considered deleting the entire section, but the proper response is probably to edit it into better shape since the topic (Is the ESA Successful) has merit. Luckily, there have been a number of scientific articles and at least one GAO report in the past few years that have addressed the issue head on. I will try to find time to summarize them. 19:44, 17 December 2006 (UTC) KS

I agree this section smells of Save Our Species Alliance. I've added a number of counter-examples but haven't removed the propaganda as of yet. Tomtefarbror 20:34, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
This is a nice addition, but how about adding some citations. Also, please look again at your final remark that no species have gone extinct. I was looking yesterday at FWS list of species that had several listed species that had gone extinct. Perhaps these were already gone or going before the ESA, but that needs clarification RichWoodward 01:34, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks RichWoodward. The information I've added is taken from the Center for Biological Diversity recovery trends page I've linked in the external links section. [1] Tomtefarbror 11:50, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
We're getting closer. A footnote to this source should be provided at the top of the section. Further, your statement that no species have gone extinct contradicts statements earlier in the article and the data at Can you add the correct citation? I would make the change myself, but I haven't learned how to to put in citations correctly. RichWoodward 22:37, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

endangered species act (General comments)[edit]

you should tell more about what is happening today and before. people will get more info and will be more interested in helping and volonteering in activities to help —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:40, 22 February 2007 (UTC).

If any experts out there intend to re-tool the ESA page, I believe it would benefit from a more in-depth explanation of the ESA process. Namely, I'd appreciate an explanation of section 7 consultation and the issuance of biological opinions. Example:


Thanks. --Greensheep (talk) 21:01, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Consequences to violation?[edit]

What happens if a coroporation or individual violates the ESA? What are the penalties? Is it a felony? --zandperl 13:56, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Government Attempts to Undermine[edit]

The Executive branch has successfully intervened to undermine the Endangered Species Act. Federal biologists determined that at the Klamath region in Oregon, the Endangered Species Act left the government no choice: water could not be cut off from the river because the survival of two imperiled species of fish was at stake. In 2001, the vice president's office intervened on the behalf of farmers needing the irrigation water, and, according to aides, Dick Cheney set in motion a process to challenge the scientific conclusions reached by the federal scientists. What followed was the largest fish kill the West had ever seen, with tens of thousands of salmon rotting on the banks of the Klamath River.

Wow, that's some great NPOV (sarcasm) --MKFreeberg 13:54, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

It's not very NPOV, but you can NPOV-ly demonstrate that the most recent administration has been undermining the ESA. Just off the top of my head, their Secretary of the Interior believes it's unconstitutional. Someone should write about it with the ol' NPOV because it's important. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:27, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

This is a close call, I immediately removed the link as you have a strong conflict of interest, I was going to reinstate it, but having checked WP:ELNO I decided not to. ELNO number 11 says we should avoid "Links to blogs, personal web pages and most fansites, except those written by a recognized authority. (This exception for blogs, etc, controlled by recognized authorities is meant to be very limited; as a minimum standard, recognized authorities always meet Wikipedia's notability criteria for people.)" Because you do not appear to satisfy WP:BIO your link is not worthy of inclusion. As the writer, number 4 "Links mainly intended to promote a website. See external link spamming." also applies. Sorry, your link cannot be included. Smartse (talk) 22:02, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

what does it do?[edit]

I've read the entire article, and so far as I can tell, the basic proceedure goes something like this:

  • nomination for being put on the list
  • consideration is taken, especially regards the land on which the species lives
  • if the proceedure is successful, the animal is added to the list

is that it? being on the list doesn't actually do anything?

the article would lead one to believe that the act is purely informative, and that I can feel free to go out hunting for whatever animals I find on the list .. using the list as a "todo" list if I were so inclined. This article needs to answer the question: What specifically are all the legally prescribed consequences of a species being listed? -- (talk) 01:21, 8 July 2011 (UTC)


Why is this Act important?

Because it gives students like you exciting topics to write research papers about!  ;) AgnosticAphid talk 01:28, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Inappropriate USC reference[edit]

The first sentence references 7 U.S.C. § 136, but this appears to have no relationship to the ESA. 16 USC 1531 is the correct reference for the ESA. Is there a reason that the 7 USC reference is in here? (talk) 21:33, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Safe Harbor: benefits to landowner[edit]

I don't know for sure, but I think the following statement is incorrect (in the "Safe Habor" section of the article):

The landowner agrees to alter the property to benefit or even attract a listed or proposed species in exchange for assurances that the FWS will permit future "takes" above a pre-determined level.

Suggested correction:

The landowner agrees to alter the property to benefit a listed species on the following conditions: 1) that the FWS authorizes incidental take of species that may result from actions undertaken by the landowner under the Safe Harbor Agreement, and 2) that the FWS will not require any additional or different management activities without the landowner's consent. [1]


  1. ^ "Safe Harbor Agreements FAQ". USFWS. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 

ScottS (talk) 17:26, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Lists of affected species[edit]

There is a list of mammals and birds affected by the act, and a list of arthropods affected by the act, but not a list of PLANTS affected by the act. Shall I remedy this issue, or is it not of major importance to list these plants? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Granstund (talkcontribs) 14:44, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

New info edit[edit]

Hi everyone, I'm a senior wildlife biology student and I was assigned to edit an article. I have taken a wildlife policy class and have have added the information and reference about CITES to the first paragraph. I thought is was important to show why the ESA came to be and link this articles with the CITES article. I hope that I did this correctly as I'm a new editor and didn't step on any toes. Tperkins2 (talk) 16:37, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 2 external links on Endangered Species Act. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 13:22, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Delisted species[edit]

I was hoping to find somewhere on Wikipedia a list of species that have been delisted from the ESA. Several are mentioned in this article, but not all of them. I mostly wanted to see the delistings due to recovery, but delistings due to extinction are interesting as well. Current count seems to be 34 recovered, 10 extinct, 19 delisted due to errors in listing (see here); this article claims 28 recovered which is now out of date. I'm not sure if a list of ESA delisted species should be incorporated into this article or created as a stand-alone list. If a stand-alone list is warranted, would List of species delisted under the Endangered Species Act be an appropriate title? It does seem a little strange to have a list of things no longer on a list. Plantdrew (talk) 02:43, 20 May 2016 (UTC)