Before the passing of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973, there was the Endangered Species Preservation Act (ESPA) which was passed in 1966. This act allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to spend $15 million dollars on habitat for endangered domestic flora and fauna. The first threatened and endangered species list was released in 1967 following the passing of ESPA. The list included 14 mammals, 36 birds, 6 reptiles and amphibians, and 22 fish.
Of course there were endangered species before the passing of the ESPA, but there was no comprehensive system of accountability or concentrated efforts to save threatened and endangered species or their habitat.
ESPA was later amended and updated which ultimately led to the more comprehensive and holistic Endangered Specie Act of 1973.
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