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ESA also increases funding for their conservation. Just one example — the red kangaroo was long hunted for its meat and hide, to the point that it was listed as endangered in In response, the ESA banned US imports of kangaroos and kangaroo-derived products from Australia, greatly aiding conservation efforts there. By , scientists agreed the species had recovered. Only Congress can amend the ESA itself, but the Administration can amend the regulations that are used to implement the law, and the Trump administration announced amendments August 12, that will seriously undermine the effectiveness of the ESA and in turn put many species at risk.

The changes to the ESA regulations include no automatic prohibitions on the harming or killing, import or export of threatened species listed in the future. They also cripple the ability to designate critical habitat necessary for the recovery of listed species. If the goal of the ESA is to increase population size of a given species, these changes will only make recovery of listed species much more difficult. For more than 20 years, opponents of the ESA have sought to weaken it, largely because of the restrictions it places on land use.

These positive collaborations address both species and landowner needs and allow for flexibility in ESA implementation. As an example, under the ESA, the US has worked with 18 individual landowners to reintroduce populations of the black-footed ferret. The species, once believed to be extinct, now numbers in the hundreds with increased habitat and a greater chance of survival. Species from the Americas to Asia, but mainly those native to the United States, could be impacted by the changes. The changes will mean weakened protections for future listed species, less scientific oversight, changes to critical habitat designations, and more.

Reach out to your Members of Congress and tell them you strongly support the Endangered Species Act and oppose these efforts to weaken it or undermine the protections it provides to wildlife, including both native and non-native species.

Endangered Animals!

Protect the future of wildlife. World Wildlife Fund 24th Street, N. Washington, DC Search Search w. What is white-nose syndrome, and how does it kill bats? White-nose syndrome is the result of a fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans that invades and ingests the skin of hibernating bats, including their wings. It causes bats to wake up more frequently during the winter, using up their limited fat reserves very rapidly.

Push to weaken US Endangered Species Act runs into roadblocks

Massive destruction of wing tissue may lead to disruption of bats' water and electrolyte balance, and it could be the actual cause of death. Some bats may survive a winter with white-nose syndrome only to subsequently succumb in the spring, when their immune systems kick into overdrive, attacking the fungal invader and their own tissues at the same time. How deadly is it?

Typically the disease kills 70 percent to 90 percent of bats in an affected hibernaculum the area where bats gather to hibernate for the winter. In some cases, the mortality rate has been percent, wiping out entire colonies. Some caves that once hosted hundreds of thousands of bats are now virtually empty.

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Where did the fungus come from? The fungus appears to have been introduced to North America from Europe. It has been found on cave bats in 12 countries in Europe, as well as in China.

The European and Chinese bats appear to be adapted to, and unaffected by, the fungus. Because bats do not migrate between North America and Europe or Asia, this strongly suggests the fungus was newly introduced to North America by people — likely cave visitors who transported it on their gear or clothing. This pattern is reminiscent of the spread of diseases that ravaged American Indian people when Europeans first colonized.

White-nose syndrome was first discovered in North America in upstate New York in February , in a cave adjoining a commercial cave visited by , people per year. Does it affect all bats in North America? So far, white-nose syndrome appears to affect only bats that hibernate, which make up about half of the 45 bat species in the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions on Endangered Species Act Reform | Reason Foundation

Pollinating bats and long-distance migrants that don't hibernate don't seem to be affected. How many bat species have been affected, and which ones are they? Seven species including three on the federal endangered species list have been affected by the disease.

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  7. The fungus has also been found on, but has not yet infected a number of other species, including the cave bat, southeastern bat, Virginia big-eared bat, and silver-haired bat. Where has white-nose syndrome been found?

    First Q&A: Endangered Animals

    The disease has been confirmed in 28 U. The fungus causing the disease has also been found in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Nebraska. In March , white-nose syndrome was found on a dying bat in Washington state —a jump of 1, miles from the closest known location of the disease. How many bats have died?

    Push to weaken US Endangered Species Act runs into roadblocks

    In , the U. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated 6. Many more bats have died since that estimate was made. How does this disease spread? It is passed primarily from one bat to another, or from the cave environment to bats, but it also likely spreads when people inadvertently carry it from one bat roost to another on their shoes, clothes or equipment. The jump of the disease from the Midwest to the West Coast in spring was almost certainly due to human-caused transmission.

    A million threatened species? Thirteen questions and answers

    Are there ways to stem its spread? One of the most important is to close caves and abandoned mines to all but essential human travel, and to mandate decontamination procedures for anyone who may come into contact with bats or bat roosting sites. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition in January to close all caves and abandoned mines on federally controlled lands in the lower 48 states.