Newsweek

How Endangered Species May Fare Under Trump

Environmentalists worry about Trump’s impact on Earth’s flora and fauna.
Polar bears are threatened by a warming climate, which melts the sea ice they depend upon.
Polar-bear Source: David W Cerny / REUTERS

President-elect Donald Trump continues to alarm the environmental community. His nominations of people who doubt the scientific consensus on climate change, such as Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as potential head of the Environmental Protection Agency, have led researchers and conservationists to fear that recent historic progress on combating climate change may be undone. An equally important issue that’s received little attention: Trump and his cabinet may threaten the survival of many endangered species, a pressing issue now as humans are driving a mass extinction of Earth’s flora and fauna.

Of course, Trump isn’t in office yet and his exact views on endangered species are unknown (his team didn’t respond to requests for comment); we shouldn’t pre-emptively condemn him. However, “the policies he’s pushing, the regulations put up by Obama he wants to reverse”—such as the Clean Power Plan, geared toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and factories—“those would hurt endangered species terribly,” says Kierán Suckling, executive director of the environmental group Center

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