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Enhancement-of-Survival Permits: Background and Status of Proposed Policy

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Publication Date: April 2006

Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Series: RS22420

Topic: Environment (Ecology)

Abstract:

On August 18, 2003, the Fish and Wildlife Service released a proposed policy that provides guidance on the issuance of enhancement-of-survival permits authorized by the Endangered Species Act. The aim of this policy is to broaden consideration of issuing permits for the harvesting and import of foreign endangered species, as an incentive to encourage conservation of the endangered species in the wild. This policy has generated controversy. Some contend that the take of endangered species in foreign countries cannot be controlled and may lead to the reduction of many endangered species. Further, some contend that the proposed policy is vague in describing how funds generated from the harvesting of endangered species will be transferred to conservation programs. The Fish and Wildlife Service and some supporters of the policy contend that limited harvesting of endangered species will create an overall benefit to the species by funding conservation programs to help the species. Currently, the proposed policy is still being considered and no final policy has been issued. This report will be updated as events warrant.