The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can help save the world’s elephants, and show America can be a leader in the world
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering IFAW’s petition to list African elephants as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. In March, the petition passed the first hurdle by receiving a positive 90-day finding from the Fish and Wildlife Service. But now, the U.S. government is conducting a comprehensive investigation to decide if elephants will receive full endangered status. Currently, African elephants are only listed as threatened, which sets a lower bar for protective measures. The data show that the current listing as threatened has proved insufficient to stop the role of the U.S. in this rapid decline, partly because it allowed blanket exceptions for imports of certain types of ivory and sport-hunted trophies.
That elephants need our help is clear. African elephant populations have declined dramatically in the last decade due to extremely high levels of poaching. It is estimated that an elephant is killed every 15 minutes; that’s 96 animals a day. At this rate, some regional populations of elephants may be wiped out in the next decade.
Trophy hunting—overwhelmingly conducted by wealthy Americans—is another inhumane threat to these magnificent animals, because hunters target the healthiest animals and destroy their tight family bonds. Listing elephants as endangered would be a huge step toward stopping trophy hunting and the trade of the animals in the U.S. once and for all.
The Fish and Wildlife Service needs to improve protections for elephants as soon as possible. You can help by signing our petition showing support for listing elephants as endangered. Simply fill out the form here, and we will submit this letter with your signature. Make your voice heard!
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