Endangered Species List Endangered

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is neglecting its mission as keeper of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Los Angeles Times reports. While the Bald Eagle soars back from near-extinction, hundreds of other dwindling species are foundering under the legal, bureaucratic and political turmoil facing the agency. The Bush administration has added fewer species to the ESA list than any other since the law was enacted in 1973, resulting in a waiting list of 279 candidates creeping closer to extinction each day nothing is done on their behalf. Another bottleneck weakens efforts to save those already listed. Two hundred of 1,326 of these are now closer to disappearing forever, in part because funds have been cut for their recovery. The agency acknowledges a 30% vacancy rate in ESA staff. Plus the top position has been left vacant for more than a year. . . More evidence that the casualties of war, stupidity, and this administration will never be healed. JULIA WHITTY

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