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According to many scientists, the current destruction and extinction of numerous species will eventually lead to irreversible changes in the Earth's ecosystem. This volume is a critical evaluation of the politics of biological diversity in the USA and of state and federal policies on endangered species from the early 1960s to the present. Drawing on congressional hearings and debates, public opinion surveys, interviews with state officials and employees of the Department of the Interior, and internal documents from this and other government agencies, the author provides an analysis of the policies on endangered species and the policy relationships among the different units of government involved in policy implementation. He examines the resources that are available for the protection of endangered species and the way in which those resources are matched to the priorities. Tobin also discusses the processes by which species are classified as endangered, how these species' critical habitats are determined and protected, and the successes and failures of current recovery programmes.