Rapid modification of natural ecosystems by technological development and other human activities is causing wild flora and fauna to become extinct at a rate far exceeding the natural evolutionary pace. The U.S. Department of the Interior continues to add to its list of threatened and endangered species of plants and animals, and critical habitats.
Premature and induced extinction of any organism degrades the environment of which humans are an inseparable part. Some species act as sensitive and crucial indicators of environmental quality for other organisms, including humankind. Conservation of threatened and endangered species presents one of the most formidable challenges to society, demanding not only biological expertise in research and management but also skill and effectiveness in public relations.
Funding necessary to conduct research and management programs is inadequate for many threatened and endangered species even though public support for threatened and endangered species work has remained high.
The policy of The Wildlife Society in regard to threatened and endangered species is to:
1. Encourage enactment of legislation and enforcement of existing laws designed to safeguard wild populations.
2. Oppose activities that jeopardize threatened and endangered species populations and support restoration of critical habitats.
3. Stimulate and support cooperative programs, both national and international, that are designed to manage populations.
4. Foster research on threatened and endangered species to provide a valid basis for their restoration and management.
5. Promote public support for the restoration, conservation, and management of threatened and endangered species.
6. Support funding for programs designed to keep common species common, thereby preventing their decline to endangered or threatened status.
7. Support legislation to secure adequate funding for recovery of endangered and threatened species.