Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Phillip Elden Answers Questions on Endangered Species

Phillip Elden
What characteristics define an endangered species? Phillip Elden answers that question and more in the following brief Q & A.

Q: What is the Endangered Species Act?

Phillip Elden: The Endangered Species Act was established in 1973 and serves to protect endangered animals as well as their habitats. The law mandates that conservation programs be created when a population is deemed critical. Further, it allows for governing bodies to acquire land or aquatic habitats for the purposes of protecting and increasing the populations of threatened species.

Q: What is a candidate species?

Phillip Elden: A candidate species is one that has been acknowledged as nearing endangered levels. Often, these animals are actually endangered and/or threatened but priority is given to more threatened species.

Q: What does it take for an animal or plant to be considered endangered?

Phillip Elden: There is a long list of specific criteria. However, an endangered species is one that is thought to have the probability of becoming extinct in the near future. Once an animal is listed, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assists in making decisions on what happens to its habitat and also helps to establish parameters to ensure its continued population growth.

Q: Why is it important to pay attention to animal and plant life populations?

Phillip Elden: Whether you realize it or not, every creature is part of a larger system. Removing one could throw a proverbial wrench into our entire way of life. For example, if salmon were to become extinct, native populations with suffer greatly as that is one of their primary source of food. Further, losing this particular species would have a significant financial impact on not only Oregon but the country as a whole. Fisheries would close and many good men and women would lose their livelihood. We would then be forced to replace this form of sustenance with something else, which could cause even further damage. It’s a domino effect.