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Cover of Science and the Endangered Species Act

Science and the Endangered Species Act

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Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-10: 0-309-05291-2

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is a far-reaching law that has sparked intense controversies over the use of public lands, the rights of property owners, and economic versus environmental benefits.

In this volume a distinguished committee focuses on the science underlying the ESA and offers recommendations for making the act more effective.

The committee provides an overview of what scientists know about extinction--and what this understanding means to implementation of the ESA. Habitat--its destruction, conservation, and fundamental importance to the ESA--is explored in detail.

The book analyzes

  • Concepts of species--how the term "species" arose and how it has been interpreted for purposes of the ESA.
  • Conflicts between species when individual species are identified for protection, including several case studies.
  • Assessment of extinction risk and decisions under the ESA--how these decisions can be made more effectively. The book concludes with a look beyond the Endangered Species Act and suggests additional means of biological conservation and ways to reduce conflicts. It will be useful to policymakers, regulators, scientists, natural-resource managers, industry and environmental organizations, and those interested in biological conservation.

Contents

The project was supported by the Department of the Interior under Contract No. 14-48-0009-92-010.

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal governement. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and reserach, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institure acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own intitiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal governement. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Reserach Council.

Copyright 1995 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Bookshelf ID: NBK232376PMID: 25121286DOI: 10.17226/4978

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