PLEASE COULD YOU ALL FIND THE TIME TO COPY THE FOLLOWING TEXT IN RED & FORWARD IT ON TO USFWS; TO HELP PROTECT THE LIONS.
I have good news for the lions, but they still need your help! In October, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a proposed rule concerning the fate of African lions. In response to a petition submitted by Born Free USA and other animal protection organizations back in 2011, USFWS proposed listing African lions as “threatened” under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Although not the “endangered” listing we requested, the threatened status will be accompanied by a special rule requiring a permit for any importation of sport-hunted lion trophies—which should only be issued for lions originating from countries with a scientifically sound management plan for the species. Born Free, of course, wants to see no sport hunting of lions. But, if it’s not going to be prohibited completely, a strong permitting system is critical, because the U.S. imports over half of the hundreds of lion trophies brought home by trophy hunters globally each year.
USFWS is seeking comments from the public regarding this proposed ruling. Please let USFWS know that you support the listing, urging them to be diligent about not giving permits to kill lions from any at-risk populations—and to keep an attentive eye on the situation to assess whether strong actions are needed.This comment period ends next Tuesday, January 27, 2015, so be sure to send your comment as soon as possible. A sample comment is below for you to use or modify.
Some populations (such as those in West and Central Africa, or East African countries like Ethiopia) are clearly endangered, and permits should never be granted for imports of lion trophies from these countries. But, bear in mind: even trophies of an “endangered” species can enter the U.S. under a permitting scheme if it is determined that such importation enhances the survival of the species in the wild. (That’s the technical language.) As a result, I am heartened—not disappointed—by the proposed rule.
Lion populations and the habitat available to them have diminished dramatically in recent years due to trophy hunting, bone trade, meat and organ consumption, disease, and agricultural expansion. Born Free and our partners on the ground in Africa will keep vigilant watch on lions and lion trade to ensure that the U.S. government’s decision enhances conservation in the future. The lion has no margin for error.
For the animals,
P.S. Share this email with your friends and invite them to show their support for the listing by writing to the USFWS.
Sample comment to submit here by Tuesday, January 27, 2015:
I wish to express my support for the proposed rule to list African lions as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The African lion is in crisis; its numbers have declined by more than half in the last three decades. Potentially fewer than 32,000 remain today. A recent study found that the West African lion population is critically imperiled, with roughly 400 lions in total found in only four protected areas (down from 21 in 2005). Furthermore, current estimates state that there are approximately 2,000 lions left in Central Africa; 18,000 in East Africa; and 11,000 in Southern Africa.
The threats facing the African lion are numerous and varied. These include over-exploitation by recreational trophy hunting and commercial trade, loss of habitat and prey species, retaliatory killings, disease, bone trade, meat and organ consumption, and other human-caused and natural factors. While I do not believe that any trophy hunting is reasonable for such a vulnerable species, I applaud the step that the USFWS has taken toward limiting trophy kills with the special rule regarding permitting and country of origin. If trophy hunt imports cannot be banned outright, a strong permitting system is critical because the U.S. imports over half of the hundreds of lion trophies brought home by hunters globally each year. I urge the USFWS to be diligent about not giving permits to kill lions from any at-risk populations—and to keep an attentive eye on the situation to assess whether strong actions are needed.
For the reasons stated above, this proposal is both scientifically sound and urgently needed. Thank you to the USFWS for acknowledging that this iconic species is in grave trouble. I respectfully ask the USFWS to uphold the threatened listing for African lions in its final rule.
PLEASE SEND ABOVE TO THE LINK IN RED OR HERE:-http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-R9-ES-2012-0025-3488