Target: Stephen Guertin, Acting Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Extend Endangered Species Act protections to seven species of endangered pangolin.
Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world. It is estimated that over a million of them have been taken from the wild for illegal trade in the past decade alone, and they are constantly hunted and killed for their meat and scales. Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy in China and Vietnam, and their scales are often used as an ingredient in traditional Asian medicine. They are also severely threatened by deforestation, which destroys their natural habitat. However, while all eight pangolin species are listed on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, seven of these highly endangered species are not receiving federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.
According to experts, the U.S. is a destination for poached pangolin products sold both online and in stores. Listing all pangolin species as endangered would greatly diminish these illegal activities, and would enforce stronger regulation of the prohibitions laid down by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received petitions from several leading wildlife organizations last year requesting that they list seven pangolin species as endangered under the Act. Now, they have finally announced that this protection is warranted and are currently undertaking a status review to evaluate potential threats to the species. While this does not yet ensure that the species will be listed, it marks an important step toward giving the pangolin the protection that it needs.
The awareness raised by the petitions submitted by Humane Society International, Born Free USA, and other wildlife organizations demonstrates how much of an impact we can have by speaking up for endangered animals that need our help. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently accepting comments during the evaluation period. Sign the petition below to demand that the seven species of pangolin are listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Dear Mr. Guertin,
Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world, and need to be protected under the Endangered Species Act. It is estimated that over a million have been taken from the wild for illegal trafficking over the past decade due to the high demand for their meat and scales. They are also at serious risk from deforestation and the destruction of their natural habitat.
All eight pangolin species are listed on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, and the seven that are not currently receiving federal protection under the Act need to be granted protection. The U.S. is a destination for illegal pangolin products that are sold online and in stores, and listing all pangolin species as endangered would help to diminish this illegal trade.
Petitions from several leading wildlife organizations including Humane Society International and Born Free USA have outlined the risks to these highly endangered species and demonstrated the need for protection. I am urging you to ensure that these seven pangolin species are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Please take action to grant these threatened animals the protection that they need and help keep them from going extinct.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Wildlife Alliance