"Eurasian Wolf" by Mas3cf / CC BY-SA 4.0

Trump administration weakens Endangered Species Act

Aug 13, 2019

By Jonathan Lambert

President Donald Trump’s administration is making drastic changes to how the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is applied. The revisions weaken protections for threatened species, and will allow federal agencies to conduct economic analyses when deciding whether to protect a species.

The changes, finalized by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service on 12 August, are among the most sweeping alterations to the law since it was enacted in 1973.

The US government says that these updates will ease the burden of regulations and increase transparency into decisions on whether a species warrants protections. But critics say that the revisions cripple the ESA’s ability to protect species under increased threat from human development and climate change.

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