Over $1.5 billion per year is needed to recover Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species

Over $1.5 billion per year is needed to recover Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species

Abstract

Recovering species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires both significant and targeted investments to address the threats that caused the species’ decline and the need for ESA protection. Here we briefly review conservative estimates of costs to recover species under the ESA, including one published source and one estimate we derive using the same approach but newer data. In short, our calculations from newer recovery costs data put the cost of ESA recovery at over $1.5 billion per year to address species protected under the ESA today, which is consistent with the cost estimates from previous peer-reviewed research. Filling this need will require that any sources of conservation funding, especially if federally derived, be sustainable and primarily targeted to address the significant needs for recovering listed species and honoring the vision and purpose of the ESA.

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CCI Analysis
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Jacob Malcom
Director

As Director in the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders, Jacob leads CCI’s work at the intersection of science, technology, and policy to improve conservation outcomes, especially for threatened and endangered species.