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ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT: Where is the $12 Billion Really Going? Unmasking the Shocking Truth

The Endangered Species Act, a landmark legislation passed half a century ago, has listed over 1,700 U.S. species as endangered or threatened. But an alarming disparity in funding allocation for these species comes to light when federal data is examined. It’s revealed that about half of the $1.2 billion yearly budget goes towards just two fish species — salmon and steelhead trout — found along the West Coast.

While popular animals like manatees, right whales, grizzly bears and spotted owls receive tens of millions in funding, numerous other creatures are left out in the cold. This lack of attention and resources has pushed many to the edge of extinction. The Virginia fringed mountain snail serves as a poignant example with only $100 allocated for its preservation in 2020.

Climate change compounds this issue by escalating threats to global organisms and increasing those qualifying for protection under the Act. This surge leaves government officials scrambling to carry out necessary recovery actions within their limited resources.

Some experts propose shifting funds from high-cost efforts with uncertain outcomes towards more affordable recovery plans that have been ignored so far. Leah Gerber, an Arizona State University professor argues that using just a small portion of the budget could rescue entire species through less costly recovery strategies.


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