Target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Applaud efforts to protect threatened Rhino species
Southern White Rhinos, the last remaining species of rhinoceros not endangered, will receive immediate U.S. protection due to an intensifying poaching crisis. White rhinos will join four other species, the Javan, black, Sumatran, and Indian rhinos, listed under the Endangered Species Act and will now be considered “threatened,” which bars their sale and trade in the United States. With two or three rhinos poached every day for their horns, conservationists believe that within a few years time, there will be no more rhinos in the wild in Africa. Adding all rhinos to those protected by U.S. law makes it easier for officials to catch and bring poachers to justice.
“This new action prohibits the sale or offer for sale in interstate commerce of this species and its parts and products, consistent with all other rhinos,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a statement.
Rhinos are valued for their horns, which fetch high prices in Asia, sold to wealthy people who consume them for the horn’s purported medical benefits. Others buy rhino horns as a status symbol. In the U.S., criminals have been caught buying rhino horns that were legally imported into the U.S. as antiques or hunting trophies and shipping them to Vietnam and China for sale in those countries’ lucrative illegal marketplaces. Between 2002 and 2012, Americans imported 116 horn carvings, 206 horn pieces, 63 horns and 688 hunting trophies, figures show.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has done the right thing in protecting all rhino species from poachers. Commend them for protecting the Southern White Rhino and other rhino species.
Dear U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Thank you for adding the Southern White rhino to your list of protected rhino species. Keeping these magnificent creatures safe from poachers is difficult enough already, but having only some species protected would make poaching penalties more difficult to enforce. I commend you for protecting all rhinos in order to truly crack down on poaching.
Since the market for rhino horns is so big in Asia, poaching is even more of a problem. I commend you for doing the right thing for rhinos and protecting them all from poachers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Relic38 via Wikimedia Commons