Whooping cranes, © USGS

ON THE AIR: Don Barry Defends Endangered Species

bald eagle

The recovery of the bald eagle from the brink of extinction is just one of many great ESA success stories.

Defenders new Executive Vice President Don Barry took to the airwaves recently to defend our nation’s premier wildlife conservation law, the Endangered Species Act. With more than 35 years of experience working to protect imperiled species, Don was the perfect guy to address both the incredible successes achieved and some of the serious challenges the ESA has faced in the past.

Listen to his extended interview with Bob Salter of WXRK/CBS radio in New York as he talks about the return of bald eagles and whooping cranes. Don also describes what he refers to as “the Groundhog Day effect” (from the classic Bill Murray movie) of seeing repeated and predictable attacks on our nation’s most imperiled wildlife.

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Ever since federal protections for wolves were stripped by legislative fiat in April, Defenders has been on high alert for other attacks on imperiled species. The current Congress, and in particular the Republican-led House of Representatives, has made more attempts to undermine protections for endangered species than any other Congress in recent memory. Before the August recess, at least 13 different proposals had been introduced, each one of which could have spelled disaster for imperiled wildlife. We detailed those attacks in a report released earlier this fall titled Assault on Wildlife: The Endangered Species Act under attack.

Though none of those provisions has yet passed, Congress is once again headed into the “perfect storm” of budget shenanigans. With little prospect of passing individual bills to strip endangered species protections, we’re likely to see attempts to add sneaky amendments at the 11th hour to an omnibus spending bill or continuing budget resolution. We must do what we can now to head off such assaults by speaking up for America’s imperiled wildlife, before it’s too late.