Environment and Ecology

Endangered Plants and Animals

How many species in the United States might have become extinct if the Endangered Species Act had not been passed in 1973?

Since the passage of the Endangered Species Act, it is estimated that fewer than a dozen species have become extinct in the United States—and some of them might have actually already gone extinct by the time the Act passed. It is also estimated that, because of the ESA, over two hundred species in the United States have been spared extinction, including the spotted owl, American bald eagle, and black-footed ferret.

Coral reefs are like the rainforests of the oceans. The coral are a source of food and shelter for a wide range of aquatic life.


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