Target: John Scanlon, Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
Goal: Save the exotic Margay cat from illegal hunting for the fur and pet trades
The rare Margay cat is found in the rain forests of Mexico, Central and South America and parts of Brazil. A careful eye might spot them in a shaded cocoa or coffee farm. Because they are on the verge of extinction these rare cats are legally protected and most trade in them is banned throughout the world. Despite this fact illegal hunting of the Margay is still a major problem. The Margay can even be seen bought online from illegal sellers along with other exotic animals such as the Bengal tigers.
The biggest threat to their survival has been the exploitation of their pelts for the fur trade, which claims the lives of some 14,000 Margay cats each year. In some areas illegal hunting for domestic markets or underground for trade still presents a problem for this species.
Deforestation of their natural habitat also poses a significant challenge. Among the various cat species, the Margay cat is best adapted for a genuine arboreal lifestyle. It closely resembles the ocelot and is happiest climbing and leaping in the high tops of trees. On top of that, adult felines like to live private and unsociable lives, which leads to low population density for these animals. They don’t adapt well to domestication or human interaction and should never be considered household pets, let alone be skinned for their beautiful fur.
Please sign this petition to ask international wildlife enforcement to put stricter penalties on the illegal hunting and trading of Margay cats.
Dear Mr. Scanlon,
The endangered Margay cat is a beautiful animal dwelling in the forests of Latin America. They are ill-suited to be house pets and should never be hunted for their fur. Yet over the years the number of Margay cats has decreased significantly due to these very threats.
I am grateful for all that international conservation and wildlife enforcement groups have done to protect the cats, but more needs to be done to stop the illegal trading of the felines. If there were strict penalties put on traders then less people would be willing to take the risk. If criminals had to serve a hefty jail sentence or pay an enormous fine, gradually the crimes would cease.
Please consider these ideas to save the rare Margay cat. Without swift action they could be gone from our rainforests forever.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Malene Thyssen via Wikimedia Commons