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Endangered Species Act turns 40

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Wolves
Captive wolves howled in an exhibit at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minn.
AP Photo/John Flesher

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 99 percent of all plants and animals ever protected under the Endangered Species Act have been saved from extinction. Critics, however, point out that only 1 percent of the protected species have recovered enough to be removed from the list. 

Forty years after President Richard Nixon signed the ESA into law, where do we stand? Why does the act still engender such controversy, and how have our views on conservation changed since 1973?

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT:

• An interactive map from the Center for Biological Diversity.