Study finds most Americans support Endangered Species Act

Even protecting controversial species like wolves didn’t dampen public support for the Endangered Species Act, a recent study found. ©John and Karen Hollingsworth, USFWS

Despite the controversy that continues to swirl around the Endangered Species Act, including the proposal by the Interior Department to embark on a major set of revisions, most Americans support the 45-year-old law, according to a recent study. About four in five Americans support the act and only one in 10 oppose it, according to a study published in Conservation Letters. The study looked at support for the ESA, trust in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and attitudes toward gray wolves (Canis lupus). “In contrast to the often-repeated statement that the Act is controversial, these data suggest that support for the law among the general population is robust and has remained so for at least two decades,” lead author Jeremy T. Bruskotter, of the Ohio State University, wrote on The Conversation. His team concluded that even protecting controversial predators like wolves “does not weaken support for protective legislation.”