Climate change has transformed and degraded habitats and ecosystems — places where animals have spent millions of years adapting — and now, plant and animal species are disappearing faster than at any time in recorded history. Emaciated grizzly bears are starving as the salmon population withers, and a warming Arctic is to blame for a die-off of puffins. According to a UN report on biodiversity, one million animals face extinction due to climate change.
And now animals face a new challenge: although the Endangered Species Act passed in 1973 has been credited with saving more than 99% of species listed on it, the Trump administration has finalized sweeping rollbacks that weaken protections dramatically. In response, 17 state attorneys general have sued, a bill was filed in the House to revoke the rollbacks and, in October 2019, activists delivered more than 500,000 petition signatures supporting the Endangered Species Act. Also in October 2019, the Trump administration passed an executive order to disband two federal advisory boards focused on protecting marine life and battling invasive species.