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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, David Bernhardt

Keep Gray Wolves Safe From Slaughter

This is it. Trump's declared a nationwide war on wolves. He's pulling the plug on saving America's wolves. His plan will strip Endangered Species Act protection from nearly every wolf in the lower 48. Here's what will happen next: We'll return to the days when wolves were shot on sight, crushed in steel traps and poisoned with their families in their dens. Thousands of wolves will die. And more than four decades of work to save these iconic animals will come to a screeching, bloody halt. 
It's unacceptable, and we must stand up against it. 
Across the country these smart, social animals are still just getting a toehold on survival after being driven to the brink of extinction. Only a single known wolf pack lives wild in all of California, where packs once roamed free. 
In the few places where wolves exist today they still face persecution. States beholden to special interests are eager to let them be hunted, trapped and poisoned with the same kind of violence that nearly drove them extinct more than a century ago. 
Remember what happened after Trump ended protection for Yellowstone's grizzly bears. The state of Wyoming quickly launched a plan to let trophy hunters shoot more than 20 bears that wandered out of the national park. 
Thankfully the Center for Biological Diversity and wildlife activists like you stopped the grizzly hunt. We have to do the same for Trump's plan for our wolves — or we risk putting this beloved species on the path toward extinction once again.

Center for Biological Diversity
290,331 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Larry Williams, David Shindle, David Dell, Ken Warren, Ryan Zinke

45,000 acres of Florida Panther habitat may be lost forever! Panthers need your help now!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft Environmental Impact Statement which approves 45,000 acres of dense suburban development and limestone mines in addition to hundreds of miles of new or widened roads in some of the most important habitat which remains for the endangered Florida Panther.  The "Eastern Collier Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan" will also have severe impacts on numerous other listed species, including the gopher tortoise, crested caracara, wood stork, eastern indigo snake, scrub jay, red-cockaded woodpecker and the Florida bonneted bat, one of the most endangered mammals on our planet. We call on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reject this plan. Once roaming throughout the southeast United States and the entire Florida peninsula, Florida Panthers can now be found almost entirely in a tiny corner of still-rural land in southwest Florida.  Although the population has rebounded from a low of perhaps 20 to 30 panthers in the 1970s to an estimated 120 to 230 adult and sub-adult panthers today, this is still an extraordinarily low number for the only big cat left in the entire eastern United States.  And with over 1,000 new residents per day moving to Florida, that habitat is considerably smaller and more fragmented today than it was in the 1970s. The Eastern Cougar was officially declared extinct and removed from the endangered species list in January of 2018. According to the landmark study (How Much is Enough?, Kautz et al, 2005) which designated the panther's primary, secondary and dispersal zones - "The Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) is an endangered, wide-ranging predator whose habitat needs conflict with a rapidly growing human population."  That study also found that the entire mosaic of natural, semi-natural, and agricultural lands which remain for panthers are  "essential components of a landscape-scale conservation plan for the protection of a viable Florida panther population."  None of it is expendable.  As for those undeveloped lands that are not currently considered high quality for panther use (the so-called "secondary zone"), they still provide important connectivity to the landscape.  They should be restored as quality panther habitat and certainly not be intensively developed. The service's plan now up for approval flies in the face of this reliable science and allows the following: A human population bomb inside the core panther habitat.  The 45,000 acres of dense development being proposed is equal in size to Washington D.C.  It will mean hundreds of thousands more people living in this sparsely populated area - devouring habitat and wildlife corridors in the process.  Of the 45,000 acres of new development, 20,000 acres are actually inside the primary zone - the core breeding and foraging range for the Florida Panther.  One new development alone - Rural Lands West - will put 10,000 new homes and a major golf course on land adjacent to the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and on top of a a critical wildlife corridor! A greatly expanded road network.  The plan envisions 200 miles of new roads and road widening projects inside the plan's footprint. Roadkill is already the leading cause of death by far for panthers - of the 27 panthers killed so far this year, all but three died from vehicles.  In 2017, the death toll was 30 panthers while 2016 set a new record with 42 panther deaths in a single year. By 2050, under this plan, about one million more vehicle-trips will be added to the same roads which are already the leading cause of panther mortality.   State Road 29, which currently runs north-south between the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and the Big Cypress National Preserve and is ground zero for panther roadkill, will become the main thoroughfare in this tract of new and completely unnecessary Florida suburbia.  Another area road known for panther roadkill - Corkscrew Road - could see traffic increase as much as 23.5 times from current rates. Many other consequences will follow from this plan - light pollution, environmental release of heavy metals and other chemicals from road runoff, spread of invasive plants, loss and degradation of area wetlands, depletion of groundwater resources through paving over of aquifer recharge areas, genetic isolation of vulnerable plant and wildlife communities, and a great increase in contact between wildlife and people.  For panthers, that means an increase in predation on pets while for the Florida black bear and its famous sense of smell (also a resident of the area), that will surely mean more raids on homes and garbage cans.  Florida has a "one strike and you're out" policy with regard to "nuisance bears" and we expect increases in the number of black bears which will be killed under that program - as well as an uptick in the number of bears which will die as a result of vehicles. Citing their new requirement to "streamline" decision-making (Secretary's Order 3355, August 2017), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is refusing to hold a public meeting on their review of this plan - or even meet with stakeholders individually to clarify important details.  This is unacceptable for a project of this size, complexity and level of impact.  When the Endangered Species Act was signed into law in 1973, Congress found that many species were being lost as a "consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation."  Now, 45 years after the passage of the act, that appears to be exactly the case here. This current Habitat Conservation Plan is just the latest in a long and unbroken string of projects approved in the habitat of the Florida Panther by this same agency. It defies the purpose for which the Endangered Species Act was written - the recovery of threatened and endangered wildlife species.  In the face of what is perhaps the biggest threat Florida's beloved State Animal, the Florida Panther, has ever faced, we say "enough is enough."

South Florida Wildlands Association
156,612 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Stop the U​.​S. Import of Trump Jr.'s Trophy Kill

Troubling reports have emerged that trophy hunter Donald Trump Jr. killed a rare argali sheep in Mongolia this summer — at night, through a laser sight. Argali sheep have long been threatened by hunting— the species is protected as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Don Jr. reportedly killed this animal without a hunting permit. That permit was eventually issued by Mongolia — but only after Trump Jr. reportedly met with its president, then left the country. He may get a pass abroad because of his name, wealth and connections, but the buck has to stop here. Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to deny any attempts to import this argali trophy under the Endangered Species Act. Argali are the world’s largest sheep, with beautiful curling horns that can reach 6 feet. Their populations dropped by 64% between 1985 and 2009. Over the past 12 years, U.S. trophy hunters imported 65 argali trophies from Mongolia. Now it’s our job to ensure the president’s son doesn’t add to that deadly tally. As we fight to curb the extinction crisis, rich and powerful trophy hunters shouldn’t be jet-setting across the globe slaughtering wildlife at will. And our Endangered Species Act — one of the strongest wildlife laws in the world — should not be used to condone the thrill-killing of species already facing extinction. Letting trophy hunters pay to play with the lives of rare and vanishing wildlife, while poachers go to jail, creates an unjust system that undermines conservation. Please tell the Service that any attempt to bring this animal’s horns, skin or parts into the United States as trophies cannot be allowed.

Center for Biological Diversity
76,903 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, United States Supreme Court

Elephants are NOT Trophies!

Take a stand for elephants and tell our President and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife that you do not support the trophy hunting industry and want the United States to protect elephants and not be responsible for the slaughter of this great animal.  We do not agree with the changed policy on allowing elephants to be killed for sport and allowed entry into the United States. The African elephants are listed as vulnerable/threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) while the Asian elephant is classed as endangered. One of the biggest threats to elephant populations is the ivory trade, as the animals are poached/murdered/slaughtered for their ivory tusks. The U.S. Government has decided that it is open season on elephants and ss Americans, we believe in the sanctity of life for this regal animal and request that you reverse the decision to allow criminal poachers to continue their trade and also allow cowardly big game hunters to continue their sport.  By reversing the ban you are putting a target on elephants and in turn, the poacher trade will increase too. We do not agree with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services determination that hunting African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia “will enhance the survival of the species in the wild,” which is the standard by which officials judge whether to allow imports of parts — known as trophies — of the animals.  We do not believe the wordsmithing by a local FWS spokesperson said in a statement that,  “Legal, well-regulated, sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,”  This statement is spin and an abomination on the entire idea of conservation and the benefit of the elephant species. 83% of Americans support banning elephant trophies.  These are inhumane policies please stop them and this careless decision and place back the ban on elephant trophies of any kind allowed in the United States of America.  We are better than this as a country and need to make a stand for decency, honor, and conservation of one of the largest mammals on this earth.

Michael Garvey
64,734 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Sign: Don't Let Giraffes Go Extinct

Giraffes are on the verge of extinction. For years, the beloved long-necked animals have faced huge habitat loss from humans. The animals are also brutally killed by trophy hunters and poachers who hunt the gentle animals for their skin and bones. But there is hope. A coalition of nonprofit organizations are asking U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to add the giraffe to the Endangered Species List. If the FWS refuses, giraffes could disappear forever. In just the past three decades, the population of giraffes in Africa has decreased an astounding 40 percent. Now, there are only 97,000 left in the wild. If action is not taken, this number could quickly drop even further. Currently, the U.S. is one of the largest importers of giraffe parts. Each year, about 3,000 skin pieces, 3,700 hunting trophies, and 21,400 bone carvings are imported into the country. If the U.S. lists giraffes as endangered, it will become illegal to import most of these giraffe parts. Cruel poachers will lose a huge percentage of their customers. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature recently elevated the threat levels on giraffes from “least concern” to “vulnerable” on their list of threatened species. Now, it’s time for the United States to follow suit. The Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Natural Resources Defense Council have filed a legal petition to add the giraffe to the U.S. Endangered Species List. With enough public pressure, the chances of saving the giraffe will increase. Sign this petition to tell the Fish and Wildlife Services that giraffes must be added to the Endangered Species List - before this amazing  species goes extinct.    

Lady Freethinker
49,283 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Department of the Interior

Protect and Save the Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bears are a subspecies of brown bears that are currently endangered in the United States. They have been over hunted for sport over the course of the past hundred years, dramatically reducing their population. In the 1800s, Grizzly Bear populations were approximately 50,000 and in the past 200 years the population has lowered to a total of 1,800 Grizzly Bears. Between 1850 and 1920 grizzly bears were eliminated from 95% of their original range, with extirpation occurring earliest on the Great Plains and later in remote mountainous areas. Without the Grizzly Bears, the habitats and homes of all other wildlife in surrounding areas could be destined for disaster. Grizzly Bears serve as a keystone species and apex predators in their environments. Since, Grizzly Bears are at the top of the food chain, they also serve as key indicator species for their ecosystem. Without the Grizzly Bear, there will be less control on the populations of lower trophic level animals. They are responsible for limiting their prey populations as well as limiting the overgrazing of grasses and plants in the ecosystem. The Grizzly Bear is also responsible for the dispersal of seeds and nutrients for the soil, provided in the bears’ feces. We need your help to spread the awareness for this key species in the wilderness. Humans have killed 13,804 grizzly bears in the province since the government began keeping mortality records for the species (from 1975 – 2016). Laws and regulations must be passed to help protect the Grizzly Bears. Limits on the total amount of Grizzly Bears hunted must be established and pushed by state and national officials. We need Ryan Zinke, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and Greg Sheehan, Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to do their role in protecting the environment we live in. With the passing of regulations, Grizzly Bears will be able to return to their past numbers and flourish again in the wilderness. We must use our voices to save the Grizzly Bears from total extinction. By saving the Grizzly Bears, we are able to protect the world and environment around us.

Ryan Conway
43,185 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Ban ALL Ivory in the U.S. to Stop Cruel Elephant Poaching

Across the U.S., the illegal ivory trade is booming -- and elephants are being tortured and killed as a result. Brutal poachers shoot the elephants, then saw off their tusks while the animal is still alive, causing excruciating pain. Once the poacher has the tusks, they’ll leave the elephant to die an agonizing, slow death. Some particularly cruel poachers assault baby elephants to goad their mothers into approaching. Then, the poacher will shoot the panicked mother and take her tusks. Other poachers find horrifically creative ways to kill these gentle animals. One poisoned a popular watering hole with cyanide, killing 80 innocent elephants. Poachers do not care how much pain they cause—all they care about is making money from the ivory. Poachers brutally kill approximately 30,000 elephants a year. While ivory import is prohibited by federal law, there is a glaring loophole: people can still buy and sell "antique" ivory items inside the U.S. This opens the door for poachers to pass their illegal ivory off as legal. California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington are the only states with their own ivory bans. Meanwhile, other areas have turned into veritable illegal ivory hubs. In fact, a recent investigation found that the ivory trade in Washington, D.C. has tripled in the past 10 years. To stop cruel poachers from selling their illegal ivory in the country, the U.S. must ban the sale of ivory entirely. Sign this petition to tell U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that you want ivory banned nationwide, saving countless elephants from needless and painful deaths.

Lady Freethinker
28,572 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of the Interior

Block President Trump's dangerous efforts to harm the Endangered Species Act

If the Trump administration has its way, the North American Wolverine may be doomed to the endangered species list. For years pro-industry legislators have pushed for dismantling key provisions in the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and now the Department of the Interior and the Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service just announced a proposal to gut automatic protections for wildlife like the North American Wolverine and the Monarch Butterfly, to name a few, that are currently under consideration for threatened species protection. Sign and share today to stop the Trump administration from stripping 45 years of protection for threatened species from the Endangered Species Act. Under the guise of an administrative effort to scale back "government regulation," this new proposal is just a way to give agriculture and energy companies the freedom to drill and graze cattle in habitats earmarked for protected species. The new rules specifically target two provisions of the ESA: Protection for species listed as threatened — The new rule would only grant "certain protections" to threatened species, species at risk of becoming endangered if no action is taken, on a case-by-case basis. Economic factors for habitat protection — The new rule would allow officials to factor in economic opportunities, like drilling and ranching, when considering protection for wildlife. We have 60 days to tell the Trump administration to keep the ESA intact with these key wildlife protections. Sign and share today to protect the most at-risk species, like the North American Wolverine.

Finley B
25,111 supporters