Defenders of Wildlife ESA Policy White Paper Series: Assessing and Improving Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances

When Congress passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973, there were 392 species listed as threatened or endangered. By the end of this decade, there could be more than 2,500. Yet the surge in ESA listings has not been matched with increased funding for endangered species conservation, causing the ESA to become an understaffed, overcrowded emergency room. To make real progress for endangered species, it is important that federal laws, state wildlife programs and private conservation efforts must become far more effective at preventing species from becoming imperiled.

This whitepaper is the first study to evaluate every candidate conservation agreement with assurances (CCAA) issued through 2012. It first analyzes how and when CCAAs have been used, and then describes recommended improvements to CCAA implementation.

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