“The Nation's First Responsibility” Saving Endangered Species in the Age of Ecology

in Nature's Ghosts

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226038148
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226038155 | DOI:
“The Nation's First Responsibility” Saving Endangered Species in the Age of Ecology

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Shortly after coming to office in early 1961, President John F. Kennedy circulated to federal agencies a memo calling for innovative ideas. The Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Ray C. Erickson responded with a proposal to begin captive breeding experiments with the sandhill crane, a species that was closely related to the critically endangered whooping crane but not nearly so rare. Within a few years after authoring his letter, Erickson would play a central role in establishing a new captive breeding facility for whooping cranes and other endangered species at the Fish and Wildlife Service's research station and refuge on the banks of Maryland's Patuxent River. This chapter looks at efforts to save endangered species in the age of ecology, focusing on the work of the Survival Service Commission, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources's Red Data Book project, and U.S. Secretary of Interior Stewart L. Udall's conservation agenda. It also examines the decline of the American alligator, spotted cats, and marine mammals and efforts to save them.

Keywords: Fish and Wildlife Service; Ray C. Erickson; conservation; endangered species; whooping cranes; ecology; Survival Service Commission; Stewart L. Udall; marine mammals

Chapter.  18854 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental History

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