Bipartisan bill targets global 'extinction crisis'

March 04, 2021

A bipartisan pair of House members celebrated World Wildlife Day yesterday by reintroducing their "Critically Endangered Animals Conservation Act," a measure targeting aid to vulnerable species around the globe.

The legislation authored by California Democrat Jared Huffman and Florida Republican Vern Buchanan would establish the Critically Endangered Animals Conservation Fund and authorize $5 million annually for five years.

It would be administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the existing Multinational Species Conservation Funds.

"The alarming acceleration in species extinction has serious consequences not only for ecosystems and wildlife, but for our economies, communities, and the future generations that will be robbed of the rich biodiversity and species we depend on today," Huffman said.

In particular, the new fund would assist overseas efforts on behalf of animals included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species as either endangered or critically endangered. Advocates say the world is facing an "extinction crisis."

A similar bill introduced last Congress gathered 27 co-sponsors and received a subcommittee hearing in 2019.

"Allowing a species to become extinct is a tragedy we should do everything in our power to prevent," Buchanan said, adding that "the competitive grant program created by this bill will ensure that every dollar goes towards worthwhile projects that protect endangered wildlife."

By:  Michael Doyle
Source: E&E News Reporter