"A bill to conserve endangered species — from the red-cockaded woodpecker to the snuffbox mussel — was passed by the U.S. House in a 231-to-190 vote on Tuesday.
The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would create an annual fund of more than $1.3 billion, given to states, territories, and tribal nations for wildlife conservation on the ground. While threatened species have been defined and protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1973, that law does not provide robust funding to proactively maintain their numbers.
The effort comes as scientists and international organizations sound the alarm about accelerating species decline.
"Too many people don't realize ... that roughly one-third of our wildlife is at increased risk of extinction," said lead House sponsor Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, echoing a recent study about climate change."