Best of AP — Honorable Mention


And, most money for endangered species goes to a small number of creatures, leaving others in limbo


Using data analysis, records research and extensive interviews, an Associated Press team of Matthew Brown, John Flesher and Nicky Forster found dramatic disparities in U.S. government spending for various types of imperiled species 50 years after passage of the Endangered Species Act. Brown and Flesher are members of the environmental reporting team, and Forster is a data journalist. They told the tale of species that don’t get attention or money. After analyzing government spending reports and sorting through recovery plans and other documents for many lesser-known species, they found that the spending disparities went beyond individual organisms and extended to entire biological kingdoms, with some such as plants and insects getting a small fraction of government money while a handful of fish species account for almost all spending. The result is that many lesser-known plants, animals and other creatures languish on the edge of potential extinction in some cases for decades because no efforts are made to restore them.

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