The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is considering our petition to list African elephants as “Endangered” under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA). In March, the petition passed the first hurdle by receiving a positive 90-day finding from FWS. But now, the US government is conducting a comprehensive investigation to decide if elephants will receive full “Endangered” status. Currently, African elephants are only listed as “Threatened,” which sets a lower bar for protective measures.
That elephants need our help is clear. African elephant populations have declined dramatically in the last decade due to extremely high levels of poaching. It is estimated that an elephant is killed every 15 minutes, on average, for its ivory tusks – that is 96 animals a day! At this rate, some regional populations of elephants may be wiped out in the next decade.
Trophy hunting – overwhelmingly conducted by wealthy Americans – is another inhumane threat to these magnificent animals, because hunters target the healthiest animals and destroy their tight family bonds. An “Endangered” listing would be a huge step towards stopping trophy hunting and the trade of elephants in the US once and for all.
The Fish & Wildlife Service needs to improve protections for elephants as soon as possible. You can help by signing our petition showing support for listing elephants as “Endangered.” All we need is for you to fill out the form here, and we will submit this letter with your signature. Make your voice heard!