While the Trump administration has been linked to a number of massive negative changes from the beginning to the end of his single term as president, there are a number of changes that the administration is responsible for that quite often get swept under the rug, or go completely unnoticed.
One of these is the significant impact that the administration has had on the endangered species act of 1976.
This act has helped to keep many animal populations safe from extinction, but during the course of Trump’s presidency, some very negative changes were inflicted upon it.
But what were these changes? And how will they impact endangered species? Join us below to find out now!
How Did Trump’s Administration Affect The Endangered Species Act?
One of the most direct changes that occurred to the endangered species act is that the protections afforded to certain species were significantly weakened.
This meant that species that were under significant threat were now receiving protection that was far less substantial.
As well as this, Trump’s revisions to the act also allowed local federal agencies to conduct substantial analyses to determine whether it is commercially viable to protect a species, allowing the administration to discriminate against specific species.
How Have Protections For Endangered Species Been Affected By The Trump Administration?
Before the massive changes brought in by the Trump administration, absolutely any plant or animal species that was ever deemed at risk of extinction would automatically receive all protections afforded to every other endangered species, meaning that no species were ever discriminated against.
One of the main reasons that this blanket of protections for all endangered species was revoked was largely in order for the US government to save money.
Being able to choose which species were focused on allowing the government to more carefully choose where to allocate funds.
However, this of course means that certain species can be discriminated against and given less protection due to being considered less desirable than others.
In order to determine whether a species is worth placing on the endangered species list and allocating funds to, a vast amount of research must first be carried out, which requires countless man hours, during which a species may be further threatened, and be left without protection whatsoever.
The changes to the endangered species act also allow the US Government to change how they define threats to specific species.
Before changes were put into place, species were often considered to be endangered if their survival was considerably under threat by any events that could occur in the “foreseeable future”.
Now, with the new changes, the government can now freely choose how to define the foreseeable future, which allows them to ignore the clear impacts of things such as climate change.
Prior to changes, the act also prevented the consideration of economic impacts that could be felt as a result of protecting certain species, which helped to eliminate bias and helped to prevent finances from playing into consideration.
Now, after the changes have been implemented, the economic viability of protecting certain species is a very strong consideration, meaning that some species are considered to be financially less valuable than others.
What Impacts Could The Trump Administration’s Changes To The Endangered Species Have?
Many critics of the changes have noted that the changes to the Endangered Species Act allow governments to be willfully ignorant of some of the dangers that threaten the continued survival of certain species, such as mass expansion, deforestation, and climate change.
The changes also heavily tip the scales in favor of the industry. Now that there is no longer any unbiased protection for all species, it would be very easy for land developers to influence governmental decisions regarding whether or not to protect a certain species.
The changes to the Endangered Species Act could also very quickly see a number of species hurtling rapidly towards extinction, as they may either be deemed unworthy of protection and the funds needed to protect them, or the time taken to determine the economic value of a species may prove incredibly lengthy.
To Wrap Up
The Trump administration has had a very powerful and negative impact on the Endangered Species Act which has remained largely unchanged since it was introduced in the 1970s.
These changes could very quickly see a number of endangered species becoming outright extinct, due to being deemed unworthy by the US Government.
The changes heavily favor industry and human expansion into animal habitats rather than the lives of unique animals that could become extinct.
Governments can choose to provide less assistance to a specific species, simply because it was deemed less valuable than another.
This could also mean that land developers could appeal to have certain species remain unprotected in order to encroach on their land.
These changes set a very dangerous precedent that could see the rate of extinction of multiple species speed up exponentially.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Two Main Goals Of The Endangered Species Act?
The two main goals of the Endangered Species Act are to completely halt the import and export of all endangered species, as well as to provide plenty of land and water to endangered species that are recovering.
This is why it is so important to protect wildlife habitats.
How Many Species Are Currently Listed In The Endangered Species Act?
Despite the changes brought on by the Trump administration, there are currently more than 1,300 species currently listed as either endangered or threatened within the United States.
What Happens When A Species Is Listed As Endangered?
When it has been determined that a species is endangered, then it is given special protections by the federal government with the aim of helping the species to rehabilitate and build up its numbers again, to create a more healthy and varied population.
The animals that are listed as endangered are also prevented from being bought or sold, and can no longer be traded legally.
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