Target: Gina Shultz, Chief of Division of Conservation and Classification, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Ensure protective status for emperor penguins
The Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that it is considering the emperor penguin for official listing on the Endangered Species Act. While under consideration for Endangered Species listing, the Fish and Wildlife Service will examine factors of emperor penguins’ decline, including predation, climate change, and industrial fishing. This is the vital first step towards increased protections for majestic birds with dwindling resources. It is crucial that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues on this trajectory and takes further necessary action to secure protective status for emperor penguins.
Top concerns for emperor penguin populations include the loss of their sea-ice habitat and the declining availability of key food sources. Carbon pollution affects climate change and melts the icy habitat that emperor penguins need to survive. Rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification result in decreased availability of krill, one of the primary food sources for penguins. Overfishing is another threat that can affect the birds, either directly by inadvertently catching penguins in nets or indirectly by increasing competition for their prey.
Endangered Species Act listing of the emperor penguin would offer greater protections in all these fields, including targeted reductions to greenhouse gas emissions to protect penguin habitats. Moreover, it would set approval requirements in place for commercial fishing vessels to minimize impacts on penguins and key prey species. With oceanic studies suggesting that emperor penguins could be strained to the brink of extinction by the end of the century, the time to act is now. Sign the petition below and tell U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Chief Gina Shultz that emperor penguin populations need protection today.
Dear Gina Shultz,
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has made a tremendous first step in the protection of emperor penguins by announcing their official consideration for Endangered Species Act listing. I encourage you as you continue on the path towards providing these birds with the federal protection they desperately need.
Emperor penguins’ projected population decline over the coming decades is grim. If current climate trends continue, emperor penguins face potential extinction by the end of the century as their icy habitats melt and food sources dwindle. Habitat loss due to climate change and competition for food from industrial fishing are two factors of penguin population decline that can be mitigated by securing protective status for emperor penguins.
You can ensure that these majestic creatures will not be lost from this earth forever by taking the necessary action to adequately protect them today. I strongly encourage you to speak for these voiceless victims of climate change when considering emperor penguins’ candidacy for Endangered Species Act listing.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ian Duffy via Flickr