Target: John E Scanion, CITES Secretary-General
Goal: End the hunting of wild animals listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
Many species are facing declining population numbers that threaten to bring them into the endangered and even extinct in the wild categories. Hunting is one of the most frequent reasons cited for the declining populations of wildlife species. Once an animal is listed as vulnerable, continued trophy hunting will further push that animal into endangered and potentially critically threatened.
Lions now face rapidly declining numbers due to being hunted, as do rhinos and elephants. Many of the big ticket trophy animals such as leopards, lions, rhinos, and elephants are listed as at least vulnerable, with their numbers decreasing. If these animals remain hunted as trophies, they will face a rapid extinction. Big trophy animals aren’t the only ones that face the dangers of being overhunted. Wolves have been hunted to the brink of extinction, come back, and have now been delisted from the endangered list to be hunted once again. This is a cycle that will repeat itself.
With the largest mass extinction looming in the near future, it is critical that animal species are protected — their value alive is greater than that of a stuffed trophy on a wall. Rhinos and elephants dangle on the precipice of extinction and many other species are close behind them. There is hope of reversing this mass extinction and saving hundreds of species.
Dear John E Scanion,
We’re facing the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs and it’s entirely human caused. Hunting of animals listed as vulnerable has pushed many species, such as the rhino, to the brink of extinction. Lions, leopards, and elephants are now facing the same race against extinction while many others are being pushed back to endangered status after just having reached stable. Animals listed as vulnerable are experiencing population decreases and should be illegal to hunt in order to allow their numbers to increase.
Gray wolves were hunted to near extinction and only recently have their numbers begun to increase again. Despite hunting being the cause of their near wipeout, they have been delisted as endangered and can now be hunted. So long as animals are considered vulnerable, they should be illegal to hunt and efforts should be put forward to increase their numbers in the wild.
With your help, vulnerable animals can be protected from hunting. I urge you and the CITES committee to ban hunting on all animal species considered vulnerable. Protect these animals from reaching endangered status.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Max Pixel