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US to declare species extinct

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US to declare species extinct

US interior extinction
Photo: Haven Daley/AP

The US Department of the Interior (DoI) will accept information, data and comments from the public regarding the removal of 23 species from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to their extinction until today.

The protections that the ESA aims to provide these endangered species have come too late, according to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who cited the effects of human-induced climate change as the cause.

Failure to end the extinction crisis will compromise the Biden administration’s America the Beautiful initiative, which aims to protect 30% of US lands and waters by 2030. While the Biden administration’s first-year progress report shows considerable efforts to reverse heavily criticized regulatory rollback undertaken by the Trump administration, there is much work ahead for 2022.

Many conservationists fear that current initiatives are insufficient. Over 100 conservation groups called on Haaland to issue a secretarial order that would include bolder, broader measures to end the extinction crisis, including updating recovery plans to incorporate greenhouse gas emissions reductions, since an additional one million species are at risk of being wiped out in the coming decades. It’s unlikely Haaland will do so, as she appears to be focusing on developing indigenous-led conservation efforts at a local scale.

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