Full-text search of ~15,000 ESA-related documents.
Implementing any law or policy means generating documentation of what was done. Although this paperwork is something we often look down on, it frequently contains key information that can be found nowhere else. Being able to discover the contents and knowledge of the paperwork is critical to learning from implementation to improve outcomes.
This scenario is especially true for the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). Between documents explaining why species are listed under or delisted from the ESA; those guiding recovery efforts; those describing plans to conserve species and habitats; and those permitting harm to listed species, there is a trove of information in thousands of pieces of paperwork produced every year. Where and when species are found. The threats they face. The actions that can advance their conservation.
Until now, that information has largely been undiscoverable. We have collected nearly 15,000 ESA-related documents (so-far), made the text fully searchable, and created a small search engine called ESAdocs Search to let anyone, anywhere find information on ESA-listed species. This can facilitate better planning and inform decision-making.
You can use the embedded app below, or go to the app’s main page, and search these 15,000 documents for important ESA-related data. For example, do you want to find all of the documents mentioning rusty-patched bumblebee? Type that in, just like you would with Google, Bing, or Duck Duck Go, and see what pops up. Only interested in recovery plans in your search, or want to get more top hits than the default 50 documents? Use the filters to select just that document type or adjust the number of hits.
Last, we note the app is labeled “beta.” That’s because it’s still under development, and you might run into really slow searches or other oddities. Plus, we’re working to incorporate new capabilities all the time. For example, we will be incorporating maps of the areas where documents are relevant; most relevant documents matching Florida manatees will center around Florida, not the occasional hit to Alaska because a manatee document was mentioned.
Please let us know if you find ESAdocs Search useful!