The Lacey Act and Endangered Species

Before the 1900s there was no law that prohibited poachers from cutting off elephant tusks and rhinoceros tusks. As well as trading expensive or extinct species for one’s needs or for an extra source of income. Neither were there laws that prevented people from cutting down rare trees, which in many cases were simply used to make art. There can’t be such a need for these trees that another can’t make up for. While cutting down trees they did not only affect the earth a little by having one less source of carbon clean up, but it destroys habitats by the thousands. In the 1900s, there finally came a law that forbade these things from happening and protected species that were getting affected by this. The Lacey Act, which was signed on May 25, 1900, by President William McKinley. This brought an end to the growing list of extinct animals and plants. As of today, the Lacey Act represents a recognized victory in the environment by preserving ecosystems and maintaining the atmosphere under control.

The conservation of species and the desire to help those that are in danger of extinction has been a topic of big organizations, leading to protests and boycotts from civil activists. Even though this law only seems right, there are still some who are not in favor of it and decide to break the law and go trophy hunting for exotic animals. For example, Two South African men were charged Thursday by the US government with conspiracy to sell illegal rhinoceros hunts to American hunters, money laundering and secretly trafficking in rhino horns (Sheridan, Kerry). Species endangered are protected from the Lacey Act, and crimes like these are being taken seriously by the authority. The Lacey Act has prevented people from committing crimes like “trophy hunting” and we are seeing how animals like rhinoceros are being harmed less by humans. The author Kerry Sheridan, in her article, “US charges safari owners with illegal rhino hunts,” states,“Experts say the demand for rhino horn has led to the rapid decline of the species by over 90 percent since 1970.” This law has helped prevent the rhino species to become extinct or become categorized as an endangered species. Another example, well-known to come close to becoming extinct is the Siberian tigers and Amur leopards. The forests of Russia’s Far East are the only remaining home of the 450 or so wild Siberian tigers and 50 wild Amur leopards in the world… The tigers require huge expanses of intact forest (Conniff, Richard, 2016). Trafficking of illegal logs has impacted the lives of the wilderness. The Siberian tigers and Amur leopards are one of many species that have been impacted by the amount of log trafficking. People do not see that harming animals comes in all forms, removing their habitat remains one way that these animals are harmed. The amount of damage we caused without realization can take thousands of years to repair the damage, but with laws that help protect the wildlife and plants, the repairing process can be done more rapidly and efficiently.

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As the population expands, the amount of oxygen required from trees and plants to produce also increase. The Lacey Act helps retain the atmosphere under control by protecting the number of trees being cut down for people’s own desire. Logging can impact climate change by increasing the amount of free carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (Rogers, 2018). It requires a lot of energy for trees to grow and produce oxygen. By reducing the number of trees we cut down increases the amount of filtration with CO2 buildups. Without the trees, we would not have enough oxygen for people to survive. One large tree can supply a day’s supply of oxygen for four people (Evans, n.d). Cutting down trees is only decreasing the amount of oxygen being produced. The Lacey Acts not only protects the trees and plants but also humans by maintaining enough oxygen for people to consume.

In conclusion, the Lacey Act has been a victory for the environment. With the law being passed in the early 1900s we have seen a dramatic change in the environment. Species are being protected from illegal trafficking and also preventing people to put species in a dangerous position. Without obtaining a law to protect the wilderness and the wildlife, species that are now being saved would have been extinct many years ago. The Lacey Act has improved the environment by preserving an ecosystem and preserving the atmosphere under control.

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The Lacey Act and Endangered Species. (2021, Aug 23). Retrieved from