Target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe
Goal: List lions as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act
Recently, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed to list lions as a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act. If the service decides to list the species as threatened, many important protections would be granted to lions involved in interstate and international trade. Such legal protections will undoubtedly help restore and protect dwindling lion populations in many areas of the world.
This proposal came about due to African lions’ loss of habitat, increased human-lion conflicts, and a lack of available prey. Even though lions are not native to the U.S., lucrative interstate and international sales of live and dead lions run rampant. Selling and using lions as commodities or food are currently unrestricted practices within the U.S. If this proposal were to pass, any organization or individual that kills a captive, non-zoo lion must have a justifiable reason for doing so; the reason must be that it enhanced the survival of the species as a whole. This ruling would also ban the sale of lion parts to other countries. However, under this protection, individuals who hunt lions outside of the U.S. may still import the culled lions into the country if they possess a permit and a scientifically sound reason for doing so.
The USFWS has put this decision on a probationary period in hopes of gaining feedback from the public. The decision of whether or not to list lions as threatened will be made in three months’ time. By signing this petition you support listing lions as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
Dear Director Ashe,
The USFWS is currently deciding whether or not to list lions as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. I am writing to express my support of this listing and encourage protection of lions worldwide. I urge you to not only list the species under the act, but also to change criteria for killing and transporting lions to favor lions over human greed.
Since the 1980’s, wild lion populations have declined by two-thirds, bringing the estimated total to a mere 35,000. In their native land of Africa, lion populations are being killed by trophy hunters, retributive farmers, and hungry locals. The African population is expected to grow substantially in the coming years; as you have said before, action must be taken now to save lions from extinction.
We, the undersigned, encourage the USFWS to list lions as a threatened species. This legal protection will undoubtedly help lion populations in the U.S. and abroad. Please act now for the lions of the world.
[Your Name Here]
Benh LIEU SONG via Wikimedia