Negron Ortiz, Vivian .
Plant conservation expenditure under the Endangered Species Act: too much or not enough?
The current decline of many plant species poses one of the greatest conservation challenges. In the United States, nearly 31 % of the native plant species are considered to be threatened, but less than a third of the high-risk taxa (ranked as critically imperiled or imperiled) receive protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). With ongoing anthropogenic threats, it is likely that many plants will decline to the point of endangerment, or even extinction, increasing the protection needs under ESA. However, listing under ESA does not ensure the recovery or even persistence of a species. In addition, the recovery of each listed species requires planning, prioritization, and coordinated spending. I analyzed the annual federal and state government expenditures for recovery of threatened and endangered species from 2008-2010 to quantify funding allocation across taxonomic groups. Of the species listed under ESA, 59% are plants; but this large group receives less than 5% of the funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and partner agencies. The highest total expenditure during 2010 was allocated to fishes, followed by birds, mammals, and reptiles. USFWS and state expenditure per taxonomic group varied among Regions, but consistently it was much lower for plants than for any of the classes of vertebrates. This represents a limiting factor since recovery has been positively correlated with funding, although plants may have lower recovery costs than many vertebrate species (based on estimated costs specified in USFWS Recovery Plans). In conclusion, expenditures on plants are not presently commensurate with the larger number of listed species. The question that remains to answer is: can we recover plants with present budget constrains? Patterns of expenditures in the context of plant species' degree of endangerment (priority rank, species status) will be discussed. Recommendations to build capacity and enhance recovery progress will be presented.
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1 - U.S. Fish And Wildlfe Service, 1601 Balboa Avenue, Panama City, FL, 32405, USA
federal and state government expenditures
Endangered Species Act
federally listed species
threatened and endangered species.
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Location: Union C/Hyatt
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Time: 4:15 PM