For 50 years, the Endangered Species Act (ESA or Act) has worked to keep species from falling off the brink of extinction and to recover them to the point where they no longer need the Act’s protections. It has helped conserve and recover iconic species like the bald eagle, the peregrine falcon, and the American alligator. It has also come to the aid of lesser-known species that contribute to the diversity of life on Earth like the island night lizard and the Lake Erie water snake. More than 95% of U.S. species listed under the Act are still with us today and many are on the road to recovery. Despite its great successes, however, major obstacles prevent the Act from fulfilling Congress’ promise to recover imperiled species and the ecosystems on which they depend to survive and thrive. In The Endangered Species Act: The Next 50 Years and Beyond we tell the story of the Act, and Defenders’ 50-year history of advocating for it and defending it in the halls of Congress, in the courts and in the field. Defenders has steadfastly worked to conserve our nation’s imperiled species and the habitats on which they rely for more than 75 years and has tirelessly worked to ensure the ESA realizes its full potential. We will explore the Act’s successes and where its implementation has fallen short. Finally, we share our vision for implementing the Act in a way that more closely aligns with Congress’ original intent in 1973. View the printable version of the report here.