Target: Members of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Grant the African Lion the Status of “Endangered” and Allow It to Be Protected Accordingly
The image of the African lion has become synonymous with the wild beauty and majesty of the African landscape. Once roaming the vast areas of the continent, the lion population has been in a rapid decline.
According to the Lion Conservation Fund, “recent studies suggest that lion populations may have decreased nearly 90% in just one past decade, with fewer than 20,000 remaining in just a handful of countries.” Due to climate change and severe droughts, much of the lion’s habitat has been threatened, if not altogether destroyed. Add that to the threat posed by poachers and the loss of habitat to human expansion, and the African lions are stepping closer and closer to becoming extinct.
The United States has played a huge role in the decline of these animals, hunting them and keeping them as trophies of their hunts. The Humane Society has found that in the ten years between 1999 and 2008, out of the 7,090 lion trophies traded internationally, the vast majority (4,139) were imported into the United States.
As part of the problem, the United States U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned by groups like The Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States, Born Free Foundation, the Fund for Animals and the International Fund for Animal Welfare to have the African lion added to the list of “endangered” animals under the federal Endangered Species Act—and thusly be afforded the protection that comes with it.
However, after the initial 90-day deadline to have the petition was missed, the fate of the lion is still undetermined. According to Jeff Flocken of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), without this status the African lion is not protected “from unsustainable trophy hunting by Americans who import over half of all sport-hunted lion trophies.”
Until these lions are recognized as “endangered” they will not be able to get the help that they need.
Dear Member of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
The United States has played a large role in the declining populations of African lions, with the majority of lion “trophies” being imported into the United States.
Now is the time for the United States to take steps towards protecting the animal that it has been for so long threatening. By adding the African lion to the Endangered Species list and giving it the title of “endangered,” the animal will be afforded the protection it needs in order to sustain their populations.
Jeff Flocken of the International Fund for Animal Welfare explains that “the Endangered Species Act is the most comprehensive legislation we have for protecting these magnificent creatures.” The African lion needs to be added to the list of Endangered Species in order to ensure its future survival.
[Your name will go here]