Target: Daniel Ashe, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Applaud the decision to place African lions on the endangered species list.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has placed lions across Africa on the endangered and threatened species list. This is partly thanks to the ForceChange community. Roughly 20,000 lions live in Africa at the moment, and these are separated into two subspecies. One that is genetically similar to the Asiatic lion is found primarily in western and central countries, and only 1,400 of this subspecies remain in Africa and India. This has warranted a place on the endangered list, while the other subspecies’ population is somewhere between 17,000 and 19,000, and will be listed as threatened.
These listings will mean that a permit will be mandatory before importing any sport-hunted or live lions. These permits will be especially difficult to obtain in the case of endangered lions and more forthcoming if importing them will contribute to the species’ survival. Importers of threatened lions will get permits if they come from areas with solid conservation practices that utilize revenue from hunting to combat poaching and sustain the lion population. Permits will not be granted to anyone who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to violating federal or state wildlife laws.
Such a move from the U.S. will encourage African countries to improve upon their conservation efforts and deter those who would irreparably harm the survival chances of these magnificent animals. Join us in applauding David Ashe and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts to save African lions.
Dear Director Ashe,
We would like to show our appreciation for the decision you and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have made regarding the endangered status of lions in Africa. Even though there is only about 10 percent of the original lion population left in Africa, this decision will make a difference in the survival of this species.
The rampant killing of lions for sport, in addition to human encroachment, has decimated their numbers. Hopefully these new restrictions on previously convicted hunters, as well as the classification of 1,400 lions as endangered and the remaining 17,000 to 19,000 as threatened, will make a difference. It is inspiring that you and your department can recognize the importance of conserving these animals, even if it means changing your mind on previously held positions.
We applaud your efforts to give African lions a chance at survival and the recovery of their species.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Kevin Pluck