Citizen involvement is important for endangered species conservation in the United States. Researchers from Emory University and UC Berkeley have revealed the value of clauses in the U.S. Endangered Species Act that allow citizens to petition for the listing of unprotected species. These clauses have been criticized as opening the door to politically motivated listing rather than rationally prioritized listing based on threat to the species.
The results of Brosi and Biber, published recently in Science, clearly refute this, showing that on average, species listed as a result of citizen petitions face a higher level of threat than those listed at the direction of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Find out what the authors of the study had to say in an interview at ScienceDaily.
The study: Brosi and Biber 2012 Citizen Involvement in the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Science 337:802-803.
(Image: Nature Conservancy LEAF interns monitor gopher tortoise populations in Georgia. Source: Karine Aigner.)