News & CommentEndangered Species

When a Habitat Is Not a Home

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Science  13 Jun 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5319, pp. 1636-1638
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5319.1636

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Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs), which are supposed to protect endangered species by preserving habitat, have become widely used in the past few years. But a growing chorus of ecologists and conservation biologists contends that many plans are flawed and the basic concept should be revised. These scientists are wading into the debate because, after years of wrangling, Congress may be close to rewriting the Endangered Species Act, and at the center of the fight over the legislation is what it should say about HCPs and other schemes to give landowners incentives to preserve habitat.