As a large explosion is heard in the distance, a St. Francis Satyr butterfly flies around, ready to lay as many as 100 eggs. At one point, this brown butterfly could be found in only one place: a military base in the American state of North Carolina.
在远处听到巨大的爆炸声时，一只圣弗朗西斯·萨特尔（St. Francis Satyr）蝴蝶飞来飞去，准备产下多达100个卵。 有一次，这只棕色的蝴蝶只能在一个地方被发现：美国北卡罗来纳州的一个军事基地。
An estimated 3,000 St. Francis Satyrs exist. The very small insects are one of the rarest butterfly species in the world.
The almost 50-year-old Endangered Species Act protects the St. Francis Satyr along with about 1,600 other American species. However, recent changes to the law have led some to worry that threatened species in the United States may be at increasing risk.
具有近50年历史的《濒临灭绝物种法》保护圣弗朗西斯·萨特（St. Francis Satyr）以及约1600个其他美国物种。 但是，最近对法律的修改使一些人担心美国的受威胁物种可能会面临越来越大的风险。
The endangered species act – successes and challenges
To some experts, the existence of these butterflies means the Endangered Species Act has done its job. More than 99.2% of the species protected by it survive, The Associated Press has found. In contrast, only 39 U.S. species — or about 2% of the overall number — have made it off the endangered list. These include well-known successes such as the bald eagle, peregrine falcon and the American alligator.
对某些专家来说，这些蝴蝶的存在意味着《濒危物种法》已经完成了工作。 美联社发现，受其保护的物种中超过99.2％可以生存。 相比之下，只有39种美国物种（约占总数的2％）已从濒临灭绝的物种名单中删除。 这些成就包括著名的成就，例如白头鹰和美国短吻鳄。
Jake Li is the director for biodiversity at the non-profit Environmental Policy Innovation Center in Washington, DC. He says the condition of many species on the endangered list is worsening. Only eight percent of species are improving, says an organization report.
Li said many species will remain on the list. "And I don't think that's a failure of the Endangered Species Act itself," he added.
杰克·李（Jake Li）是华盛顿特区非营利性环境政策创新中心的生物多样性主管。 他说，濒危物种中许多物种的状况正在恶化。 组织报告说，只有百分之八的物种正在改善。
Lawmakers designed the law to prevent species from disappearing. President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law on Dec. 28, 1973. The measure led to many political conflicts in the 1970s and 1980s. One famous example is the fight over plans to build the Tellico Dam in Tennessee.
立法者制定法律以防止物种消失。 理查德·尼克松（Richard Nixon）总统于1973年12月28日签署了《濒危物种法》，成为法律。该措施在1970年代和1980年代引发了许多政治冲突。 一个著名的例子是在田纳西州建造Tellico大坝的计划之争。
Now, the law is in dispute once again.
In September, the Trump administration changed the endangered species process. Opponents argue that the changes weaken the law.
Among them: a change in the rules for species that are "threatened," the classificationjust below endangered. Instead of saying that "threatened" species get the same protection as endangered species, the new rules include possible exceptions.
Gary Frazer, assistant director of ecological services at U.S. Fish and Wildlife, says the changes improve the situation. He said they permit the government to better protect "things that are important to conservation."
Michael Bean, a former Interior Department official, disagrees. He calls the plan a "step back," although not "catastrophic."
美国鱼类和野生动物生态服务助理总监加里·弗雷泽（Gary Frazer）表示，这些变化改善了这种状况。 他说，他们允许政府更好地保护“对保护至关重要的事物”。
内政部前官员迈克尔·比恩（Michael Bean）不同意。 他称该计划是“退后一步”，尽管不是“灾难性的”。
Noah Greenwald, with the non-profit Center for Biological Diversity, is more concerned. He calls the changes "a disaster."
The biggest problem, Li and others say, is that new species in trouble are not being added to the list.
Meanwhile, scientists across the globe warn of the coming extinction of a million species in the decades ahead.
非营利性生物多样性中心的Noah Greenwald对此更为关注。 他称这些变化为“灾难”。
St. Francis Satyr
Nick Haddad, a Michigan State University biology professor, is the world's leading expert on the St. Francis Satyr butterfly. He got permission to go to the animal's home on the military base.
The butterfly appears only twice a year for two weeks each time. When it does, Haddad goes to Fort Bragg and joins a team of Army biologists aiming to improve the butterflies' living environment.
密歇根州立大学生物学教授尼克·哈达德（Nick Haddad）是圣弗朗西斯·萨特尔（St. Francis Satyr）蝴蝶的世界领先专家。 他被允许去军事基地的动物之家。
Haddad and his students also walk through the swamp and count the insects.
"It couldn't be better than this," Haddad says, smiling as a butterfly takes flight. "When I see, every year, just a slight change in the right direction of the butterfly's conservation, let me tell you, that inspires me."
Words in This Story：
contrast – n.something that is different from another thing
classification – n.an arrangement of people or things into groups based on ways that they are alike
catastrophic – adj.causing great damage
swamp – n.land that is always wet and often partly covered with water
inspire – v. to make (someone) want to do something : to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create