Save Rare Dolphins From Human-Caused Extinction

Target: Janet Coit, NMFS Administrator

Goal: Label the Atlantic humpback dolphin as an endangered species to ensure their survival.

You have likely never heard of the Atlantic humpback dolphin, and unfortunately, it’s for a horrible reason. This little-known dolphin is on the brink of extinction, with less than 3,000 left in the wild. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is considering listing them as protected under the Endangered Species Act, but for now they are still in the midst of a status review, meaning they still don’t get any federal safeguards. We must apply pressure until these dolphins are officially protected.

It’s no secret among conservation groups that this species is struggling – the NMFS status review stems from a petition by the Animal Welfare Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity, and VIVA Vaquita asking for help for the Atlantic humpback dolphin. In fact, these marine mammals are listed as critically endangered internationally, just not protected under the U.S ESA.

We need your help to get them there. A big part of conservation is achieving a higher profile, and name recognition for species in peril. Without public knowledge, it’s wildly difficult to get the financial, legal, and political assistance that conservation efforts need. Because global awareness of the Atlantic humpback dolphin’s fate has been lacking while human activity has been threatening them, their numbers have gotten incredibly low.

One of the largest issues affecting these dolphins is a phenomenon called “bycatch.” Fisheries use massive nets to catch the fish species they can sell, but often other species get trapped and killed, too; including the Atlantic humpback dolphin. Dying as bycatch is horrible – since they are mammals, these dolphins drown when they become tangled in nets and cannot surface to breathe. The netting can also cut into their flesh, causing wounds and infection.

In addition to the threat of bycatch, other human activities threaten the Atlantic humpback dolphin, which lives exclusively in shallow, coastal waters, at risk of human interaction. Coastal development depletes their habitat and noise pollution inhibits their ability to communicate, travel, and can cause injury and death.

The good news is that because these threats are all human-related, regulations and policies will make a major difference in the fight for these dolphins’ survival. But that’s only if we can get the right protections for these vulnerable creatures.

Please, sign the petition telling the NMFS to protect Atlantic humpback dolphins before it’s too late.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mrs. Coit,

The NMFS is currently reviewing the status of the Atlantic humpback dolphins under the Endangered Species Act based on petitions from the Animal Welfare Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity, and VIVA Vaquita. There are less than 3,000 of these animals left in the wild, due mainly to human influence.

This letter is to let you know that I support the petitions put forward by the aforementioned groups, and urge you to include these dolphins in the ESA. Because these creatures are being hurt by human influence, regulations and policy changes will make a major difference in their survival.

Please, follow through on these petitions and ensure the Atlantic humpback dolphins’ survival.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mandy


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