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While the Endangered Species Act has resulted in almost 50 species recovering enough to be removed from the endangered list, some protected species such as this dusky seaside sparrow from Florida have nonetheless gone extinct.

Photo credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, which builds on several laws passed in the 1960s, including the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 and the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969, was enacted to prevent species from becoming endangered or extinct due to human impact on natural ecosystems. The ESA bars federal agencies from undertaking actions that harm endangered or threatened species, prohibits government agencies and individual citizens from “taking” endangered animals without a permit, and requires the designation of critical habitat for species ...

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