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ESAblawg is an educational effort by Keith W. Rizzardi. Correspondence with this site does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Photos or links may be copyrighted (but used with permission, or as fair use). ESA blawg is published with a Creative Commons License.

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florida gators... never threatened!

If you ain't a Gator, you should be! Alligators (and endangered crocs) are important indicator species atop their food chains, with sensitivity to pollution and pesticides akin to humans. See ESA blawg. Gator blood could be our pharmaceutical future, too. See ESA musing.

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Follow the truth.

"This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, December 27, 1820.

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Thanks, Kevin.

KEVIN S. PETTITT helped found this blawg. A D.C.-based IT consultant specializing in Lotus Notes & Domino, he also maintains Lotus Guru blog.

« Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill, 437 U.S. 153 (1978) | Main| Pacific Legal Foundation: thinking about the ESA, but not always clearly. »

Maybe we need the ESA, but we need the species even more.

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While the Endangered Species Act may be among the most powerful of our environmental laws, sometimes, it still can't match the potential of simple human compassion, creativity, and self-interest to remind us about the importance of endangered species protection...

Compassion.  In Tennessee, the protection of the Barrens topminnows dart didn't need the ESA.  Instead, as explained in the Chattanoogan, it needed a few people who cared.   "Officials decided to try working with area landowners to protect the habitat and begin an unprecedented restoration pilot project to save the Barrens topminnow."  The results, aided by the Tennessee Aquarium's breeding efforts, were impressive, and the fish is being reintroduced in four Tennessee counties.  On the other side of the Mississippi River, Nebraska also has program directed at encouraging private landowner conservation measures for listed species like endangered interior least terns and threatened piping plovers.  According to the Grand Island Independent, private grants are an important part of the overall Platte River recovery plans.
 
Creativity.  Meanwhile, Gary Paul Nabhan has more utilitarian ideas.  According to The New York Times, Chef Nabhan "has spent most of the past four years compiling a list of endangered plants and animals that were once fairly commonplace in American kitchens but are now threatened, endangered or essentially extinct in the marketplace. He has set out to save them, which often involves urging people to eat them."  For more thoughts on eating endangered species, consult the Gray Lady's interactive map.

Self-interest.  Ok, dinner sounds great, but we already have food on our plates, right?  But what if the protection of endangered species was unquestionably  in our direct human interest?  Some of you previously read my ESA musing about the red knot, horseshoe crab, and medical research.   But did you read the Boston Globe article about the collapse of the bat populations?  "Scientists predict that this summer there will be a population explosion of insects, which bats normally eat in large quantities. Greater numbers of beetles and moths could mean severe and costly losses for farmers and timber producers. There could also be bigger swarms of mosquitoes and other biting bugs, which will mean more discomfort for all of us."  A smaller mosquito population sounds promising to me.

Hmm.  (Or in some cases, yum.)  Endangered species: they need us to live, we need them to live.