Originally started as the Endangered Species Preservation Act, the revised Endangered Species Act was passed in congress in 1973.
Originally, the United States passed the Lacey Act of 1900. It was the first law to make preservation a national issue. Signed by William McKinley, the law was mostly directed at preserving wild birds, seeing as how commercial hunting was becoming a major threat to many species of game and birds. The law made it a federal crime to poach with the intent of selling it in another state.
Much later, Congress passed the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966. This law entailed that the Secretary of the Interior would carry out programs to help conserve and restore species that were being threatened to extinction. Upon further research, however, it started to appear that the animals on the endangered list weren’t getting enough protection.
This led to the Endangered Species Act of 1969, which was more of an expansion of the Lacey Act of 1900, so instead of putting most of the focus on game and birds, this law included the protection of amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans, which hadn’t been protected by the United States in the past.
Eventually, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which stated the concern that many plants and animals were in danger of becoming extinct. It’s purpose is to “protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.”
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