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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Pricelessness of Biodiversity: Using the Endangered Species Act to Help Combat Extinction and Climate Change


The science is clear. Climate change is happening, and it has aserious adverse effect on the majority of biodiversity, species,and ecosystems. Currently, there are no laws that serve to protect biodiversity and species from the oncoming changes; however, there is a law that serves to protect endangered and threatened species generally: the Endangered Species Act. This paper proposes using conservation biology principles to suggest several amendments to the Endangered Species Act to help save and conserve all species that will be adversely affected by climate change, not just those currently endangered or threatened. This paper only proposes amendments to the listing, critical habitat, recovery, and monitoring sections under Section 1533, even  though many more amendment opportunities could be envisioned. There are many critiques to this approach, which are also addressed; however, it is the goal of this paper to argue that amending the Endangered Species Act is the most effective and efficient way to save biodiversity and species from climate change.

Republished on November 9, 2015 to correct formatting errors.

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