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Endangered Species Act (ESA) Milestones | 2000s
George Gentry, USFWS
The decade that knew the threat of Y2K and the terror that was 9/11, also realized new challenges in the conservation of endangered and threatened species as a result of a changing climate change and other stressors including white nose syndrome and chytrid fungus—two emerging infectious diseases that have continued to devastate bat and amphibian populations on a large scale. Not all was woeful in the 2000s, however. The American bald eagle – the very symbol of our nation's strength – was recovered and removed from the list of endangered and threatened species. And through continued work with the community, business, and governments, the future grew brighter for a number imperiled plants and animals on privately owned land. A suite of new tools and incentives, including a Recovery Crediting System, the first Candidate Conservation Agreement, and establishment of the first conservation bank, all helped to promote and enhance the recovery of listed species on subject lands.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife develops the first Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances to benefit the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse.
Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation v. Babbit
Conservation Banking Guidance addresses the establishment, use, and operation of conservation banks to offset adverse impacts to listed species. Learn more.
Hoover's wooly-star is delisted following recovery.
Congress enacts the ESA Amendment of 2004.
Biologists reintroduce several thousand mussels, including the endangered purple bean mussel, into Virginia's Clinch River. A toxic spill in 1998 killed most aquatic life in that stretch of the river.
The Eggert's sunflower is delisted following recovery.
White-nose syndrome is first discovered in a single cave near Albany, New York. The fungal disease has since spread to 19 states and four Canadian provinces, and killed more than 5.7 million bats, including federally endangered gray bats and Indiana bats.
The Warm Springs Zaitzevian riffle beetle, an insect in Montana, is removed from the list of candidate species due to the conservation practices implemented as part of a 1994 Candidate Conservation Agreement. Read the news release.
The death of Ozark hellbenders in the St. Louis Zoo's captive population from chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd) prompts the testing of Missouri's wild hellbenders, a then candidate species for ESA protection. Results show chytrid fungus is present in all remaining populations in Missouri. Learn more.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) finalizes the Recovery Crediting System, a tool available to federal agencies to promote and enhance the recovery of listed species on non- federal lands.
The Service approves the Coachella Valley Habitat Conservation Plan on 1.1 million acres in California for 27 species including the threatened Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard.
The first combination Candidate Conservation Agreement and Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances brings together the Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and a private group to conserve the lesser prairie-chicken and the dunes sagebrush lizard.
Due to a combination of the banning of DDT and ESA protection, more than 650,000 brown pelicans could be found across Florida and the Gulf and Pacific Coasts, as well as in the Caribbean and Latin America, and so it was removed from federal protection. Learn More
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