The US initiated the Endangered Species Act in 1966. One of the first orders of business was to make a list of domestic endangered animals and fish species. The National Fish & Wildlife Agency were tasked with creating this list, and then given $15 million annually to buy or create habitat for these species.
To add on to Aaron’s answer, The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was signed in 1973 by President Nixon who found the previous convservation acts for endangered species to be “inadequate”. The act predecessors for this act came in the form of the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 and the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969. There isn’t one person that can be tied to creating the endangered species, however, because there were many who brought public attention to the possible extinction to America’s wildlife. As for the world’s endangered species list, that was started by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 1961.
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