Target: John Sellar, Chief of Enforcement Support in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
Goal: Enhance protection efforts for clouded leopards in Asia.
Although hunting is illegal in most Asian countries, the clouded leopard is already regionally extinct in Taiwan and more surrounding countries are losing track of the species’ existence. Please sign this petition urging government officials to establish anti-poaching units and protection areas for clouded leopards.
The clouded leopard is a coveted big cat named after its distinctive “cloud-like” markings. Clouded leopards can be found across Southeast Asia and the eastern Himalayas. The exact numbers of this secretive cat are not known, but they are in danger due to habitat loss and poaching. According to the World Wildlife Fund, “Deforestation in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia is the most serious threat to the clouded leopard. The species natural habitat has been fragmented and decreasing at a rate of 10% per year since 1997.” In addition to human encroachment, clouded leopards are also fighting a loosing battle against poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
Clouded leopards are widely hunted for their decorative pelt, unique teeth and bones, and for the traditional Asian medicinal trade. Proportionately, clouded leopards have the longest canine teeth of any living feline. Clouded leopard pelts have been seen on sale in markets in many Southeast Asian countries. They have even been featured on the menu of restaurants in Thailand and China that cater to wealthy tourists. Live leopards are sometimes traded as pets and claws and teeth are often used as decoration and in clothing.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is an international agreement between governments to ensure that international trade does not threaten a species survival. Clouded leopards are not receiving adequate protection on the boarders of China and Thailand where they are vulnerable to poachers and international buyers. CITES must work with local wildlife authorities to establish anti-poaching units and strengthen anti-poaching law enforcement. Protection areas must also be established and maintained to prevent complete extinction of clouded leopards.
Please sign this petition urging John Sellar, Chief of Enforcement Support in CITES to take action and save the clouded leopard from extinction.
Dear Mr. Sellar,
The clouded leopard is a unique and special species that must be protected in order to prevent further extinction. As the Chief of Enforcement Support for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), it is your job to protect the clouded leopard so as not to threaten their survival. The clouded leopard is already regionally extinct in Taiwan.
Clouded leopards are found across Southeast Asia and the eastern Himalayas. Their unique coat and teeth are often bought and sold in open markets as adornments for clothing and household decoration. Live leopards are traded as pets and, unfortunately, dead clouded leopards have been served in restaurants in Thailand and China for wealthy tourists to eat. Their distinct “cloud-like” pelt and record long teeth make them a constant target for poachers and international buyers.
Deforestation is also threatening the clouded leopard population in Southeast Asia. According to the World Wildlife Fund, “The species natural habitat has been fragmented and decreasing at a rate of 10% per year since 1997.” Human encroachment is also tightening the leopards’ land allowance, making a battle between cat and man.
Clouded leopards are not getting the protection they need and deserve on the borders of China and Thailand, where they are vulnerable to poachers and international buyers. CITES must work with local wildlife authorities to establish and enforce anti-poaching units and strengthen anti-poaching law enforcement. Please commit to preserving and protecting these endangered leopards before it’s too late.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: animalhdwalls via Yahoo