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Endangered Species

Depending on the status of their populations in the wild, animals and plants may be designated as rare, threatened, and under extreme conditions, endangered. The 1800s in the United States were a period when a number of large, highly visible mammals, such as the plains bison Bison bison and the eastern subspecies of the elk Cervus elaphus canadensis were being hunted. The disappearance of such important prey increased the threat to the wolf and mountain lion, both predators dependant on ungulates (hoofed mammals) for food. In 1966, the United States Congress passed the Endangered Species Preservation Act, which provided limited means of protection to native animals. The Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969 took a wider view and provided protection to species facing extinction globally.

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