Benefits of Keeping Endangered Species Around

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One out of eight birds, one out of four mammals, and one out of three amphibians are currently at risk for extinction (Shah). To prevent these organisms from going extinct, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was put into place in the United States in 1973. This gave the federal government the responsibility to protect endangered and threatened species, as well as critical habitat. The goal of the ESA is to get a population healthy so it can later be delisted. This is done by giving the plants and animals special protections against being killed, harmed, harassed, or captured (“Endangered Species Act”). There are benefits to preventing extinction. Losing one species can create a domino effect that causes the extinction of others. An example can be seen when the dodo was hunted to extinction. The calvria tree depended on the dodo to digest its seeds for new trees to grow. Once the dodos were gone, the trees had no way to reproduce. Only a few very old trees survive today (Primack 35). One of the benefits of keeping endangered species around is to help the economy. This can be seen in industries such as fishing and agriculture. Food crops depend on pollinators in order to grow. About $10 billion worth of crops in the U.S. are pollinated by honeybees, which are facing a decline in population (Mazzotti). For bees and other pollinators to survive, the ecosystem must also have biodiversity in the flowers they pollinate and other organisms they interact with –

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