The Endangered Species Act was put into place in 1973. Its goal is to help protect not only animals that are in danger of extinction but also the habitats that are crucial to their survival. Among the creatures this act is meant to protect are tigers, certain kinds of panda bears, snow leopards and sea turtles. President Donald Trump’s administration recently announced that they are taking a new approach when it comes to this over four-decade-old law. And with that in mind, environmentalists are worried that some of the proposed changes will place a number of animals at risk, including sea turtles, according to The Guardian.
Sea turtles have it particularly rough due to the dangers already present in their natural habitat. Many animals count them as prey and they are also at risk due to discarded plastic and litter that is all too prevalent in our oceans. Rising sea levels, rising temperatures and brutal storms are all reportedly side effects of the ongoing climate change crisis. However, the Trump administration plans to cut back on efforts to protect them.
The Trump administration is taking a new look at the Endangered Species Act and will be using a more efficient and business-like approach to such issues in the future. This will reportedly mean a decreased level of action taken to prevent threats to not only the habitats of endangered species but also the animals themselves.
— Oceanic Preservation Society / OPS (@OP_Society) August 21, 2019
Justin Perrault is the research director at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Florida. Perrault has led conservatory efforts to protect sea turtles who often make their nests along the long stretch of Juno Beach, which is just north of Miami. He has watched the stretch of sand continue to grow thinner and thinner through the years, particularly because of erosion. Speaking to The Guardian, he recalled once being able to easily drive a vehicle down this stretch of seawall, which is now visibly narrower.
“Certain parts of the beach get very narrow with the erosion, which seems to be getting worse. We are getting more frequent storms which wipes out nests too. We lost a lot when Hurricane Irma hit.”
Some environmentalists have filed lawsuits against the Trump administration for what they consider to be a disregard to wildlife.
Taylor Jones, an endangered species advocate for WildEarth Guardians, believes that the current administration isn’t worried about climate change because they do not believe it exists.
“It appears that this administration is ignoring the science because they don’t believe in climate change,” she told The Guardian. “This is blatant disregard of the climate crisis.”