14 Compelling Pros and Cons of the Endangered Species Act

Passed in the early 1970s, the Endangered Species Act encompasses several different environmental laws in the US. It was signed into law by Former President Richard Nixon, whose primary objective was to stop many endangered species from being extinct using whatever means necessary. Because it is placed to protect certain animals that are nearing extinction on our planet, it will make people who harm or kill them a felon. While the law has been highly successful in the revival of some creatures, like the bald eagle, it has also been receiving a bit of heat from private land owners and ranchers all over the country. Here are the pros and cons of the Endangered Species Act:

List of Pros of the Endangered Species Act

1. It raises environmental awareness.
One of the greatest impacts this law has had on society is the level of awareness that has been raised for animal species. Once animals are gone, they cannot be brought back. To stop this from happening, education is our best weapon. This law forces people to be aware of the environment and help naturally protect it. Actually, it has undergone several changes so that it can effectively protect our ecosystem and ensure endangered or threatened species to recover their numbers despite being at the brink of extinction at certain times.

2. It helps protects the environment.
When certain animal species are listed as endangered, it automatically becomes a crime to harm them and even the habitat they are living in. This means the law is protecting the environment, while protecting the animals.

3. It creates a sense of order to the environment.
Truth is, some people have no problem hunting down and killing endangered species, and what’s worse, they sometimes do it for amusement. On the other hand, there are also people who may not use the environment at all and just stay at home all the time. What this law does is provide everybody a fair chance to enjoy the environment, while still providing a sense of order to keep threatened animals protected.

4. It involves set-up regulations.
Having a guide in preserving animal species is one of the greatest pros of the Endangered Species Act. The pursuit of keeping endangered species’ alive is firmly established with the aid of included regulations. This means that, whenever a hunt or capture of any endangered animal is reported, action can be taken instantly.

5. It invokes a sense of pride.
Aside from the preservation of animals and nature, this law also provides a wide variety of new wildlife parks that people can visit. This allows us to go and see the animals that are being protected in their natural habitat and feel proud that we are making it possible.

6. It really helps revive dwindling species.
The Endangered Species Act has been successful in increasing the number of species that are considered as being on the brink of extinction. After all, this is the largest pro of this law and also its main goal.

7. It brings about a sense of personal ownership.
Everyone in the US has had some skin in the efforts of environmental protection thanks to this law. Practically, this means that people can go to natural areas and see native wildlife in their habitat.

List of Cons of the Endangered Species Act

1. It is very strict.
The Endangered Species Act is extremely strict in terms of preserving all species. Many people even argue that other considerations should be taken into account before we make extreme decisions.

2. It offers no variations or options for us to take.
There is very little flexibility built into the law. This means that it can affect more than just local populations and businesses; it could also impact land management, tourism and even the lives of the protected animals.

3. It interferes with the sometimes-needed economic benefits.
The law puts a higher priority on the life of animals in their natural habitats than the immediate needs humans may have. For example, if a community needs affordable housing to be developed in an empty land, it cannot happen is such a law is present.

4. It implements extreme land restrictions.
As a country, the US is continuing to develop at a very rapid rate. And in order to continue such development, we must have sufficient land to build on. However, this act places restrictions on many areas, which can hinder business growth.

5. It requires high costs.
Implementing many of the laws and doing the necessary research can cost extremely high. Certain things, such as land surveying, law enforcement and security, are all on-going costs that must be taken on by those who pay taxes.

6. Its recovery rate is slow.
While the Endangered Species Act is considered a success in general, many people are still wondering how useful it really is. Of all the animals on the endangered species list, it is revealed that only about a fourth of their numbers have been delisted. This perceived lack of progress is making many people want to consider alternatives.

7. It saves endangered animals that may be dangerous.
You should know that not all animals are harmless, friendly and safe, and there is a number of species on the endangered list that are capable of causing severe harm and even death to humans. Plus, these creatures represent a threat to livestock and various businesses that are near them. Ranchers and private land owners, in particular, are struggling to manage these animals because there may be strict penalties if they are killed.


The Endangered Species Act was put into affect with truthful and pure intentions of saving the world’s animals. It has been highly successful in many cases and has continued to work on protecting nature and its beauty. However, based on the pros and cons presented above, is it really the right law to implement to manage and take care of the animal populations? By weighing them down, you can informatively determine the right path to take.

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.