Common Core: RH.6-8.1, RH.6-8.2, RH.6-8.4, RH.6-8.7, WHST.6-8.4, RI.6-8.1, RI.6-8.2, RI.6-8.4, RI.6-8.7, W.6-8.4

NCSS: Culture • Time, Continuity, and Change • People, Places, and Environments • Power, Authority, and Governance • Science, Technology, and Society

Stan Tekiela Author/Naturalist/Wildlife Photographer/Getty Images (eagle); iStockPhoto/Getty Images (turtle); (bear)



What Do These Animals Have in Common?

They’ve all been helped by the Endangered Species Act, which turns 50 this month!

In December 1973, Congress passed a landmark law to protect animals and plants from extinction. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) made it illegal to kill, capture, or harm any species that the government has listed as endangered. It also protects the environment where those animals and plants live, and provides funding to help their populations recover.

Since the ESA became law, less than 1 percent of the animals and plants under its protection have become extinct. Read on for more stats about its effects.

Note: Data for graph and What’s on the List? as of July 2023; all other data as of October 16, 2023

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Skills Sheets (3)
Skills Sheets (3)
Lesson Plan (1)