The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (7 U.S.C. § 136, 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq.) or ESA is the most wide-ranging of the dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s. As stated in section 2 of the act, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation."
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