Target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: List lions as an endangered species in the United States
It’s no surprise that lions are on the decline. Recent population surveys show that the lion population in Africa has been reduced by more than 50% in the past three decades. Their numbers in the wild reach about 35,000, down from 200,000 a century ago. It is also no surprise that this decline is due to extended human development and, more seriously, the cruel wildlife trade.
What is surprising, however, is that the United States is one of the largest importers of lion “goods.” Americans buy and sell a large quantity of lion furs, teeth, tails, and other products. In this country, as well as in other nations around the world, there is a status symbol associated with owning body parts that once belonged to the lion, and that symbol makes these products valuable commodities.
While the United States government cannot control what happens in Africa, it can control what gets imported onto American soil. In 2011, wildlife groups filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) demanding that lions be given the national status of endangered. If lions are listed as endangered, the American government would restrict the importing of lion goods and crack down on the trade of these goods in the U.S. This change will help protect lions in Africa by reducing the threat to the animals by American hunters and importers.
Please encourage the USFWS to list lions as endangered. Time is running out for these creatures.
Dear U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Time is running out for lions. The animal’s population in Africa has declined by 50% in the last few decades, and there are only about 35,000 left in the wild. The decrease in population is mainly due to human development and, more seriously, the cruel wildlife trade.
While the United States is powerless to defend lions on their home continent, there are measures the government can take to ensure American citizens do not exacerbate the problem. Namely, your agency can list the animal as endangered, regulating the lion “goods” trade in this country. If the trade is regulated, both selling and buying lion products will be much more difficult for American citizens. Hopefully, this will discourage poachers from hunting and killing more animals.
Please list lions as endangered species. It will surely help these creatures keep from going extinct. Thank you.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: The King via WikiCommons