The significance of these three Amendments is the Government protections for the imperiled/endangered species. These aerial, terrestrial, and aquatic creations were (and up to now) being inadequately taking cared of and are slowly forgotten their existence. And, if people knew that they’re now endangered, these species are put to these people’s cages and brought home for them to keep. However, getting them from their habitats where they used to live and multiply more is not that good idea.
People can’t make them as pets, ornaments/displays, or even as food for consumption. They play major rule in this world, they need to survive for humans to survive also. So, these nature-friendly laws were passed to Congress and implemented to the concern citizens. •The Endangered Species Act of 1973 or ESA was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a “consequence of economic growth and development untendered by adequate concern and conservation. “
The stated purpose on this Act is to protect species and also “the ecosystems upon which they depend. ” It encompasses plants and invertebrates as well as vertebrates. This is administered by two federal agencies, the FWS and the NOAA (which includes the National Marine Fisheries Service NMFS). NOAA handles marine species, and the FWS has responsibility over freshwater fish and all other species. Species that occur in both habitats (e. g. sea turtles and Atlantic sturgeon) are jointly managed.
Though ESA only protects species which are officially listed as “threatened” or “endangered”. A species can be listed in two ways. The first is for the FWS or NOAA Fisheries to take the initiative and directly list the species. The second is via individual or organizational petition which prompts FWS or NMFS to conduct a scientific review. There are two categories on the list, endangered and threatened. Endangered species are closer to extinction than threatened species. A third status is that of “candidate species”.
And by March 2008, after more than seven years of the Bush Administration, 59 additional domestic species had been placed on the endangered list, an annual rate of less than nine per year. Section 11 of the Endangered Species Act describes the violations and penalties that may be enforced under law. The United States Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, or the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating are the bodies of the federal government responsible for enforcing the provisions of this Act.
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service play the predominant role in law enforcement of the Endangered Species Act. In connection to this, there are different degrees of violation with the law being imposed. The most punishable offense is enforced upon those who knowingly break the law through acts of importing or exporting, taking, possessing, selling, delivering, carrying, transporting, or shipping—essentially trafficking endangered species without permission from the Secretary.
Any act of knowingly “taking” (which includes harming, wounding, or killing) an endangered species is also subject to the same penalty. Recovery plans benefit species as indicated by the fact that the longer species have recovery plans, the more likely they are to be classified as improving. The benefit, however, appears to be limited to single-species oriented plans; large multi-species, ecosystem-based plans are not correlated with improving status; perhaps due to their lack of specificity.
And, as habitat loss is the primary threat to most imperiled species, the original ESA of 1973 allowed the FWS and NOAA Fisheries to designate specific areas as protected “critical habitat” zones. In 1978, Congress amended the ESA to require designation for all threatened and endangered species except those which might be harmed by the publication of such maps. Congress indicated that the exception should rarely be invoked. Also, most provisions of the ESA revolve around preventing extinction. Critical habitat is one of the few that focuses on recovery.
Species with critical habitat are twice as likely to be recovering as species without critical habitat. In 1982, Congress amended the ESA to enhance the permitting provisions of the act, (Section 10) and intended, in part, to provide landowners with incentives to participate in endangered species conservation. Pursuant to these provisions, by preparing a “Habitat Conservation Plan” (HCP) that meets statutory criteria, private landowners can obtain “incidental take permits” that allows otherwise prohibited impacts to endangered, threatened and other species covered in the permitting documents.
On April 3, 2007, 41 species have been delisted; sixteen due to recovery, nine due to extinction (seven of which were extinct prior to being listed), nine due to changes in taxonomic classification, five due to discovery of new populations, one due to an error in the listing rule, and one due to an amendment to the Endangered Species Act specifically requiring the species delisting.  Twenty-three others have been down listed from “endangered” to “threatened” status.
Some have argued that the recovery of DDT-threatened species such as the bald eagle, brown pelican and peregrine falcon should be attributed to the 1973 congressional ban on DDT rather than the Endangered Species Act, however, the listing of these species as endangered was a substantial cause of congress instituting the ban and many non-DDT oriented actions were taken on their behalf under the Endangered Species Act (i. e. captive breeding, habitat protection, and protection from disturbance). (Nixon. R (1972).
“Special Message to the Congress Outlining the 1972 Environmental Program” 51. Juliet Eilperin, “Since ’01, Guarding Species Is Harder: Endangered Listings Drop Under Bush”, Washington Post, March 23, 2008). •1973 also saw the creation of the Convention International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This is an International agreement restricting international commerce in plant and animal species believed to be actually or potentially harmed by trade. The U. S. CITES list includes all species protected by the ESA in addition to species which are vulnerable but not yet threatened or endangered. While it is widely understood that habitat decline is the primary cause of endangerment for most species, trade in species, or parts of species, is a major cause of decline for some groups of animals and plants. This has included spotted cats for their furs, rhinoceros for horn, elephants and walrus for ivory and, more so in recent times, parrots and exotic reptiles for the pet trade, corals and fish for the aquarium trade, and sharks for their fins.
Medicinal and ornamental plants are also exploited worldwide, as is tropical timber. Annual trade in wild species worldwide is now estimated to include several hundred million individual animals and plants, and it is a multi-billion dollar industry. Thus the need for CITES is ever more apparent. It also has the distinction, among international conservation agreements, of having the most legal strength behind it, and there is an abundant literature in the fields of law, conservation, international relations and economics about its global impact.
To date, well over 30,000 species receive some protection under this landmark agreement, and more are being added on a regular basis. As both a conservation and trade convention, it has more obligations and more detailed enforcement mechanisms than is typical of conservation agreements. When it came into force, the original Parties were most concerned with a rather small subset of species that are or were used in the fashion industry (e. g. , wild cats for fur, crocodilians for leather) or as ornaments (e. g. elephant ivory, wild cattle as trophy heads).
Since that time, thousands of species, and in some cases entire taxonomic groups of species, have been added to the Convention simply because many people in both developed and developing countries have attained higher standards of living and are able to afford things that most could not 30 years ago. (CITES: Lead Author: Joel Heinen (other articles): Article Topics: Ecology, International environmental issues, Environmental law and Conservation biology. Heinen, Joel (Lead Author); Richard Reibstein (Topic Editor). 2007. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). ” )
• The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 was reauthorized by the Marine Mammal Protection Act Amendments of 1994 (Public Law 103-238) as signed by President Clinton on April 30, 1994. The agency is responsible for implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act — through fiscal year 1999. This encompasses the most significant amendments that involved establishing a new regime to govern the taking of marine mammals’ incidental to commercial fishing, replacing the Interim Exemption in place since 1988.
Three new sections were added to the Act to address commercial fishing: the preparation of stock assessments for all marine mammal stocks in waters under U. S. jurisdiction; development and implementation of take reduction plans for stocks that may be reduced or are being maintained below their optimum sustainable population levels due to interactions with commercial fisheries; and studies of pinniped-fishery interactions.
Maintaining the original aspirations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Amendments continue to protect marine mammals, seeking to maintain stocks at, or recover stocks to, and their optimum sustainable population levels. To achieve that goal, protection of essential habitats including rookeries, mating grounds and areas of similar significance is emphasized by including specific “habitat” language in the bill.
Other major changes include a mechanism for authorizing importation of polar bear parts (other than internal organs) from Canada (provided the required findings are made); revised permit provisions for public display and scientific research; establishment of permits for purposes of photography; procedures for authorizing the intentional lethal taking of individually identifiable pinnipeds which are having a significant negative effect on salmonid fishery stocks; eliminated jurisdiction over the care and maintenance of captive marine mammals held for purposes of public display at registered or licensed facilities; and authority for providing grants to Alaska Native organizations for the purpose of developing co-management structures for marine mammal stocks taken for subsistence purposes.
Enclosed to this, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (National Ocean Policy Study) held hearings on general MMPA issues on July 14 and 28, 1993, prior to the introduction of S. 1636 on November 8, 1993. The Senate Commerce Committee reported S. 1636 with amendments on January 25, 1994. On March 9, 1994, the House Merchant Marine Subcommittee marked up H. R. 2760, including amendments providing for polar bear trophies to be imported from Canada and establishing a process whereby Federal permission might be granted to intentionally kill individually identifiable pinnipeds having a significant negative effect on certain salmonid fishery stocks, without first having to determine that the marine mammal stock was within its optimum sustainable population range.
Reduction Teams will be established to develop plans to reduce the incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that interact with category I or II fisheries. The short-term goal of the plans is to reduce mortality and serious injury of marine mammals incidental to commercial fishing operations to levels below the affected stock’s PBR. The long-term goal of the plans is to reduce the rates of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals to insignificant levels approaching a zero rate. In addition, to be authorized to take marine mammals, each commercial fishing vessel participating in a fishery with frequent or occasional interaction with marine mammals (category I and II fisheries) must be registered with NMFS.
The 1994 Amendments encourage these agencies to take further measures to protect marine mammal rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar ecological significance. To expand knowledge and comprehension of the impacts of habitat destruction on marine mammal species and stocks, Regional Scientific Review Groups, in consultation with the Marine Mammal Commission (MMC), are to be established to advise the NMFS and FWS on actual, expected, or potential impacts of habitat destruction on marine mammal stocks. If habitat destruction is harming a stock defined as strategic, the Regional Scientific Review Group must recommend appropriate conservation or management measures to alleviate the impact.
On the Pacific coast, NMFS is to undertake scientific investigations to assess the effects of California sea lions and Pacific harbor seals on endangered and threatened salmonid stocks. In the Gulf of Maine, a pinniped task force is to be established to advise NMFS concerning marine mammal interactions with aquaculture operations. The 1994 Amendments also allow the Secretary of Commerce to authorize the intentional killing of individually identifiable, non-depleted pinnipeds which can be shown to be having a significant negative effect on the decline or recovery of certain salmonid fish stocks listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA, approaching such status, or that migrate through Ballard Locks at Seattle, WA.
Intentional killing can only be authorized after: a Pinniped-Fishery Interaction Task Force has been established by the Secretary to review the situation, consider previous control efforts, and take public comment; and the Task Force has recommended to the Secretary whether to approve or deny the proposed kill along with suggestions for nonlethal alternatives and a recommended course of action. For the first time, it is directed to develop and implement research plans to assess the health and stability of ecosystems of which marine mammals are a part. Specific activities include: a regional workshop for the Gulf of Maine to assess human-caused factors affecting ecosystem health and stability; development of a research plan to monitor the health and stability of the Bering Sea ecosystem; and assessment of the impact California sea lions and Pacific harbor seals have on salmonids and ecosystem stability in the coastal ecosystems of Washington, Oregon, and California.
Both NMFS and the FWS now have the explicit authority to enter into cooperative agreements with Alaska Native organizations to conserve marine mammals and to provide co-management of subsistence use of Alaska marine mammal stocks by Alaska Natives. Agreements may include grants to Alaska Native organizations for: collecting and analyzing data on marine mammal populations, monitoring the harvest of marine mammals for subsistence use, participating in marine mammal research, and developing marine mammal co-management structures with Federal and State agencies. They are to promulgate regulations authorizing bona fide scientific research involving only Level B harassments without a formal permit. Persons must submit specified information to NMFS or FWS at least 60 days prior to beginning research.
Also, expedited scientific research permits will be allowed when delay could cause injury to a marine mammal or loss of unique research opportunities. To add more, new permit procedures are to explicitly provide for educational and commercial photography of marine mammals. And on the 1994 Amendments establish a new mechanisms for authorizing polar bear trophies (other than internal organs) to be imported from Canada, provided the required findings are made. Subsequently, such imports will not be allowed if there is any indication, found in a study begun two years after the enactment, that the issuance of import permits by the United States is having a significant adverse effect on Canadian polar bear stocks. (http://www. Eoearth. org/The marine Mammal Protection Act).
Courtney from Study Moose
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