Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Science

Advisor 1

Dr. George Busenberg-Content Advisor

Advisor 2

Dr. Krystyna Stave

Number of Pages



In this study I argue that a holistic approach is better than an individualistic approach for interpreting the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA). I propose that the use of a holistic ethical framework, based on fundamental environmental philosophy, is better in that it more effectively fulfills the ESA's goals of species and ecosystem conservation. Holistic ethics is based on concern for a community as a whole, while individualistic ethics is based on concern for the individual. A holistic approach, I argue, is more beneficial to nature than is an individualistic approach or other non-holistic approaches. I set up basic criteria for determining the effectiveness of recovery plans for species, and I use those criteria to review eight cases of threatened and endangered species listed under the ESA. I conclude that holistic approaches are parallel with ecosystem management techniques and should be used in the protection of both species and ecosystems rather than non-holistic approaches.


Ecosystem management; Environmental philosophy; Holism; Holistic approaches; Individualistic approaches; United States Endangered Species Act (ESA); Threatened species


Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Sciences | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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