Target: Daniel Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Protect African elephants by listing them as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
It’s no secret that elephants in Africa are in the midst of a crisis. Their numbers have been dramatically reduced over the past decade as a result of unprecedented levels of poaching. Poachers kill the elephants, rip their tusks from their faces, and sell them on the black market, where ivory is in high demand.
According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), an elephant is killed for its ivory every 15 minutes on average. That adds up to 96 elephants per day — a shocking and tragic number. Unless measures are taken to protect these animals, some herds will be wiped out for good.
For example, due to poaching, there are only about 300 desert elephants remaining in Mali. The number used to be in the tens of thousands. Under the present circumstances, conservationists estimate that they will be extinct in three years.
While most of the ivory poached from elephants ends up in China, the U.S. imports a tremendous amount of elephant products, including trophies and hides. There is also a sophisticated criminal network dedicated to smuggling illicit ivory into the U.S.
Trophy hunting represents another threat to these majestic creatures. Trophy hunters, many of whom come from the U.S., travel to Africa and kill the biggest, strongest elephant they can find before taking a picture with the animal’s corpse and bringing home parts of its body as trophies.
IFAW recently petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to list African elephants as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The petition met with a positive 90-day finding, which means the government is considering upgrading elephants from threatened to endangered.
Please sign the petition below, urging the USFWS to protect African elephants by granting them full endangered status under the Endangered Species Act.
I am writing to urge you to list African elephants as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
African elephants are being slaughtered at an alarming rate by poachers and trophy hunters. It is estimated that, on average, 96 elephants are killed every day for their ivory. If efforts are not made to provide greater protection for these magnificent animals, entire populations will be extinct in a matter of years. You have the power to help prevent this tragedy.
There is no more time to waste. These animals need our help. Please upgrade their status under the Endangered Species Act from threatened to endangered.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Steve Garvie