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Save African Elephants and End Trophy Imports

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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Join us in calling on the federal government to ban African elephant trophy imports under the Endangered Species Act. We must take action to protect these majestic creatures!


African elephants are majestic creatures that have roamed the continent for millions of years. Unfortunately, their existence is now threatened due to human activities such as poaching, habitat loss, and trophy hunting1. Despite efforts to conserve and protect these magnificent animals, the United States continues to import trophies from African elephant hunts, which only adds to the species' woes2.

Between 2005 and 2014, nearly 4,000 elephant trophies were imported into the United States. These include tusks, heads, and other body parts of elephants killed in Africa3. The US is the largest market for elephant trophies, and American hunters have been responsible for killing at least 2,500 African elephants in the past decade. Despite calls to ban the importation of elephant trophies, the US government continues to allow the practice under certain conditions4.

Trophy hunting, which is the practice of killing wild animals for sport, has long been controversial. Supporters argue that it generates revenue for local communities and contributes to conservation efforts5. However, opponents argue that it is cruel, unsustainable, and undermines conservation efforts by removing animals from the gene pool. In the case of elephants, trophy hunting can have disastrous effects on their populations, which are already under threat due to poaching and habitat loss6.

Elephants are social animals that live in large herds and are critical to the health of their ecosystems. They play a vital role in seed dispersal, maintain open landscapes, and create water sources for other animals. Losing elephants could have far-reaching consequences for African wildlife7.

Moreover, African elephant populations have decreased dramatically in recent years. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), African elephant populations have declined by 30% over the past decade due to habitat loss, poaching, and other factors8. This decline is expected to continue unless more significant measures are taken to protect these animals.

Given these factors, it is clear that the US must take a more significant stance in protecting African elephants. One way to do this is to ban the importation of elephant trophies altogether. By doing so, the US can send a clear message that it is committed to protecting these animals and their habitats.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently restricted the import of wildlife trophies, but after a hunting group sued, the agency is now reconsidering the decision, and may allow hunters to ship elephant heads, tusks, feet and other trophies from Zimbabwe and Namibia back to the U.S.9

It is clear that allowing the killing of rare and threatened wildlife will only accelerate the extinction crisis. African elephants are not only a vital part of African ecosystems, but they are also a symbol of strength and resilience. It is up to us to ensure that they continue to roam the African savanna for generations to come.

Sign the petition and save African elephants from extinction!

More on this issue:

  1. World Wildlife Fund (2023), "African Elephant."
  2. Miranda Green, The New York Times (1 April 2022), "U.S. Allows Hunters to Import Some Elephant Trophies From African Countries."
  3. Rachael Bale, National Geographic (6 February 2016), "Exclusive: Hard Numbers Reveal Scale of America’s Trophy-Hunting Habit."
  4. Sara Amundson, Kitty Block, Humane Society Legislative Fund (26 March 2021), "African elephants are just a step or two away from extinction, new report warns."
  5. Julie Kluck, Born Free USA (28 July 2020), "Follow The Money: Trophy Hunting Does Not Help Communities."
  6. Vanda Felbab-Brown, Brookings (27 November 2017), "On the vices and virtues of trophy hunting."
  7. Érica Terrón González., myanimals (21 December, 2022), "Why Elephants Are Social Animals."
  8. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (25 March 2021), "African elephant species now Endangered and Critically Endangered - IUCN Red List."
  9. Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International, Humane Society Legislative Fund, Humane Society of the United States (1 March 2022), "Re: Request to Deny Elephant Trophy Imports from Namibia and Zimbabwe."
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The Petition:

To the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the continued importation of African elephant trophies into the United States. As you are aware, African elephants are majestic animals that are facing an unprecedented threat to their survival due to habitat loss, poaching, and trophy hunting.

Despite efforts to conserve and protect these magnificent animals, the United States continues to allow the importation of elephant trophies under certain conditions. Between 2005 and 2014, nearly 4,000 elephant trophies were imported into the United States, including tusks, heads, and other body parts of elephants killed in Africa. The US is the largest market for elephant trophies, and American hunters have been responsible for killing at least 2,500 African elephants in the past decade.

We believe that allowing the importation of elephant trophies only adds to the species' woes and undermines conservation efforts. Trophy hunting can have disastrous effects on elephant populations, which are already under threat due to poaching and habitat loss. Moreover, African elephant populations have decreased dramatically in recent years, with populations declining by 30% over the past decade.

We urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take immediate action to ban the importation of African elephant trophies under the Endangered Species Act. We call on you to send a clear message that the US is committed to protecting these animals and their habitats by banning all imports of elephant trophies.

African elephants are not only a vital part of African ecosystems, but they are also a symbol of strength and resilience. It is up to us to ensure that they continue to roam the African savanna for generations to come.

We urge you to take action to protect African elephants and other wildlife by banning the importation of elephant trophies under the Endangered Species Act.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: