Changes to how Endangered Species Act is implemented come as world scientists warn biodiversity crisis will put humanity at risk
The Trump administration is scaling back the US governments latitude to protect species nearing extinction, as world scientists warn that a biodiversity crisis will soon put humanity at risk.
The changes to how the government implements the Endangered Species Act, lauded by industry, will make it harder to protect the most vulnerable creatures.
Several unique and iconic animals, including the North American wolverine, northern spotted owl and American burying beetle, demonstrate how the changes could hamper species protection.
More than 1,600 species are considered officially at risk in the US. A United Nations report this spring found humans are disrupting the natural world and putting a million species at risk of extinction worldwide. At least 680 vertebrate species have gone extinct in the last 400 years.
Under the changes finalized today, species categorized as threatened wont automatically get the same protections as those listed as endangered. The new rules will allow officials to draw more attention to the economic impact of protecting a species.
Critics say the revisions will make it harder for the US government to safeguard a species that is found across a wide range of the country. And they say they will handcuff regulators from protecting wildlife from the climate crisis. Environment advocates vowed to challenge the new rules in court.