When proper protection is made for animal habitats, animals have a tendency to thrive.
This simple, yet pivotal finding comes after a recent report which analyzed the effects from the US Endangered Species Act on marine animals was published in the PLOS One journal.
For the purposes of the report, 31 marine populations were closely followed and it was concluded that 78 percent of the marine mammal population and 75 percent of the sea turtles were restored after the protection they received by the law.
Medial sea turtle population elevated by 980 percent after the ESA regulations whereas the median mammal increase was 115 percent.
Promising Data that Will Help Other Endangered Species
According to Shaye Wolf, scientist and co-author of the study, the ESA didn’t just save whales, otters, sea turtles, and manatees from extinction, but it has also increased their populations and placing them on the road towards complete recovery.
Wolf further added that we need to celebrate the track record of the act in decreasing the water pollution, overfishing, beach habitat destruction, and killing of marine animals.
The ESA was passed back in 1973 and it’s a mechanism for the protection of animals that are in danger of extinction.
When a certain species is protected under ESA, its habitat is kept safe from human activities and proper rehabilitation measures are taken.
Let’s say a turtle is protected under ESA- its fishing, tourism, waste disposal and other things would be banned from a designated area and conservationists may also work to restore the species’ source of food.
Thanks to the ESA, the Hawaiian humpback whales population jumped from 800 to 10000 from 1979 to 2015.
Thanks to the successful recovery, they were removed from the ESA in 2016.
Moreover, the green sea turtle living along the coast of Florida has increased to 39000 in 2016 after being placed under ESA protection.
Marine Creatures Are Being Directly Affected by Climate Change
In recent years, marine creatures have been in environmentalists’ focus.
With the intense climate change, our oceans are absorbing the surplus heat caused by the greenhouse emissions and this makes the water temperatures higher to the levels of ‘cooking’ species like corals, alive.
What’s more, the oceans’ increase in temperature is also causing rearrangement in sea animals.
A massive blob of warm water which travelled to the Californian coast brought sea urchins which ravaged the ancient kelp forests that were the backbone of the local ecosystems.
Plastic is also being more and more present in oceans and harming and even killing marine animals.
The ESA has managed to reverse the reduction of numerous marine creatures. But, humans continue destroying the marine ecosystems.
However, strong laws and proper management can help surge their numbers.