Endangered Species Act Commentary Paper

1967 Words Sep 6th, 2013 8 Pages
Mo Yi Lam
Professor Kiefer
Nov 30th, 2010
Final Paper (Summary of Endangered Species Act)
Endangered Species Act “What is an endangered species?” is a question that needs to be addressed before getting known of endangered species act. An endangered species is a population of organisms which is at risk of becoming extinct due to three possible reasons: it is few in numbers. According to the theory of Exponential Growth Curve proposed by Malthus, a lower population tends to have a lower reproductive rate and thus a higher risk of going extinct; or a species is threatened by changing environment. A species which fail to adapt a new environment by means such as mutation which creates new “fitting” genes tends to have a
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In the second category, there are three conservation statuses which are “critically endangered”, “endangered” and “vulnerable”. They differ in the risk of extinction; “critically endangered” species has the highest risk of extinction, followed by the remaining two. The third category consists of 3 conservation statuses: “conservation dependent”, “near threatened” and “least concern”, which differ from one another in terms of their needs to be included into conservation programs. By understanding the risk of going extinct of each species according to the Red List, international organizations and state governments can develop appropriate conservation program corresponding to each of them. Different graph and statistics about the situation of endangered species in the world have been collected:

Graph 1(IUCN Red List, 2007) Graph 1 above shows the percentage species in several groups which are list in the second category: either critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable. As shown in the graph, amphibians have the relatively largest proportion (around 30%) in second category compared to other animal kingdoms, followed by mammals (around 20%) and birds (around 12.5%).

Graph 2(Prof. Kiefer, 2010) Graph 2 is different from the first one in that it calculates the number but not the proportion. Mammals (around 400) have the highest