One-third of all U.S. wildlife species are already imperiled or are vulnerable—and nearly one million species worldwide are at risk of extinction.
Habitat loss, climate change, invasive species, disease, and severe weather have all taken a severe toll on birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, and bees. All types of wildlife are declining—in many cases dramatically.
If we are serious about saving thousands of at-risk species, we must invest in collaborative, on-the-ground solutions that match the magnitude of the wildlife crisis. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is the bipartisan solution we need.
Roughly one-third of America’s wildlife species are at some degree of elevated risk of extinction. More than 1,600 U.S. species already listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act, more than 150 U.S. species already have gone extinct and nearly 500 additional species have not been seen in recent decades and are regarded as possibly extinct.
Unless our nation invests in proactive, on-the-ground, collaborative conservation, we risk losing thousands of species and our wildlife heritage to preventable challenges.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will help at-risk wildlife before they need the more costly and restrictive “emergency room” measures required by the Endangered Species Act, while also helping recover those species already listed as threatened or endangered. The current levels of funding are less than 5 percent of what is necessary.
The rapid decline of so many species of wildlife and the habitats they depend on threatens Americans’ quality of life, and our outdoor recreation economy, which contributes $887 billion to our national economy annually, creates 7.6 million direct jobs, and generates $124.5 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. It is critical that we come up with a solution that matches the scope of the challenge.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will provide states, territories, and tribes with $1.39 billion annually to catalyze proactive, on-the-ground, collaborative efforts to restore essential habitat and implement key conservation strategies, as described in each state's Wildlife Action Plan. This legislation follows the recommendation of a diverse group of conservation and industry leaders—the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources.
Here are some details about the funds and how they will help wildlife and people:
For more information, visit the links below:
Each state’s fish and wildlife agency is responsible for collaboratively developing a State Wildlife Action Plan, which identifies imperiled species in the state and identifies specific actions that would assist with their protection and recovery. Currently these plans have identified more than 12,000 species in need of proactive conservation efforts.
How They Work: Every state has written a State Wildlife Action Plan, which acts like a blueprint for conservation. These Action Plans assess the health of wildlife and habitat in the state, so experts know which species are at risk, and outline steps needed to conserve the “species of greatest conservation need” before they become more rare and costly to protect.
The State and Wildlife Grants Program, initiated in 2000, is currently the main source of federal funding for states and territories as they implement these plans. These funds have begun to see some success recovering wildlife. However it is grossly inadequate, only providing $65 million for all 50 states and territories. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will significantly advance the implementation of these plans, enabling states to recover thousands of at-risk species.
For more information, visit:
Wildlife Success Stories
12 hopeful reminders that when we invest in wildlife conservation, wildlife wins
7 Reasons to Support the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act
Read the latest story from the National Wildlife Federation blog
A Year of Staying Close: Winners of Our 2021 Photo ContestSee the Winners
Promoting more-inclusive outdoor experiences for allRead More
A lifelong investment in wildlife conservationRead More