Happy almost 40th Anniversary to the Endangered Species Act!

This year the Endangered Species Act turns 40.This year the Endangered Species Act (ESA) turns 40.

As card-carrying members of the Endangered Species Coalition, we at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) are proud to be a part of the celebration. 

Signed into law by President Nixon in December of 1973, the primary goal of the ESA is to prevent extinction of imperiled plants and animals, as well as to maintain those populations by removing or reducing the threats to their survival.

According to United States Fish and Wildlife Service, there are currently approximately 2,054 species listed under the ESA.  We at IFAW have done a lot of work to help species get protection under the Act – most recently, polar bears, caribou, and lions – and we rely on its continued authority to carry on with our efforts.

However, there’s still more to be done.

Shockingly, although the Act has had great success protecting jeopardized flora and fauna, some members of Congress want to weaken it.

We can’t let that happen. For hundreds of species across the country and abroad, the ESA is their only defense against extinction and hope for recovery.

That’s why, leading up to the 40th anniversary of the ESA in December, IFAW is teaming up with the Endangered Species Coalition on a year-long campaign called “A Wild Success: Celebrating 40 Years of the Endangered Species Act.” 

As part of this campaign, each month we're asking citizens of one specific region to write letters to their local newspapers telling them about the great work the ESA has done, and why it’s important that it remain intact.

This month, we’re focusing on the Northeast, where the Act has helped save and recover the bald eagle, shortnose sturgeon, Atlantic piping plover, American alligator, manatee, Key deer and a tiny fish called the Okaloosa darter.

Northeasterners, now is the time to spread the word about the Act.  It has saved 99 percent of the plants and animals under its care from extinction, and most species covered by the law are now even starting to rebuild.

The ESA is the world’s most powerful law that protects endangered species from extinction. We need your support to make sure it stays that way.


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Joseph Okori
Regional Director, Southern Africa and Program Director, Landscape Conservation
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Pauline Verheij, Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy