Save America’s Wolves: Do Not Remove Their Endangered Species Protections

Target: Bridget Fahey, Chief of the Division of Conservation and Classification, Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Do not expose wolves to trophy hunters and the threat of extinction.

Nearly all wolves across all of the lower 48 states of the U.S. may be left exposed to trapping, trophy hunting, and the threat of extinction, as the Trump Administration confirmed that it is considering a proposal to remove their Endangered Species protections. As Collette Adkins of the Center for Biological Diversity states, “It’s deeply troubling to see the Trump Administration trying to prematurely kick wolves off the endangered species list. Time and again the courts have told the Service that wolves need further recovery before their protections can be removed. But the agency is dead-set on appeasing special interests who want to kill these amazing animals.”

The Center for Biological Diversity reports that Gavin Shire, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chief of Public Affairs, said in an email statement that the department expects to propose reversing the gray wolf’s status “by the end of the calendar year.” It has already stripped the wolf of protections in the Great Lakes region, resulting in the cruel and unnecessary killing of hundreds of wolves. When the agency tried to extend this decision to apply to the rest of the country in 2013, courts not only ruled against it, but restored protections in the Great Lakes and later upheld both decisions. The courts said the Service’s removal of wolf protections in the Great Lakes region unlawfully ignored the consequences to wolf populations in other areas of the nation that are still recovering. These court rulings must not be ignored, or America’s wolves may face the threat of extinction due to trophy hunting and political corruption. Sign below to demand that wolves remain protected under the Endangered Species Act.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chief Fahey,

As a leader of the Endangered Species Program, it is your responsibility to ensure the protection and restoration of our nation’s wildlife. Nearly all of America’s wolves will be put at risk if they are stripped of their Endangered Species protections. This is why courts have ruled to maintain these protections in the past. Wolf populations are still recovering and taking their protections away prematurely irresponsibly exposes these innocent creatures to threats of extinction through cruel trophy hunting and trapping.

It is vital that wolves’ protections under the Endangered Species Act be upheld. Political interests and the whims of trophy hunters must not be put before the survival and well-being of innocent creatures who are integral to the landscape of our country as we know it. As Collette Adkins of the Center for Biological Diversity says, “Like so many Americans, I treasure having wolves and grizzlies in the wild and don’t want to see them shot and trapped for blood sport or pelts. We’re ready for a fight, and we’re going to do all that we can to make sure the feds fulfill their obligation to restore wolves and grizzlies across the country.” I urge you to ensure the rejection of any proposal that would remove protections for America’s wolves.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mark Kent

Urge Starbucks to Stop Business with Hong Kong Chain that Allegedly Serves Shark Fin

Target: Kevin Johnson, chief executive officer of Starbucks

Goal: Stop doing business with Hong Kong restaurant that reportedly serves shark fin on their menu.

Maxim, a restaurant in Hong Kong, is still allegedly selling shark fin meat after they said they stopped in 2017. An investigation conducted by wildlife conservation charity WildAid, found that the shark fins are reportedly still being sold on a secret premium menu. Activists are now currently urging Starbucks to end their 18-year partnership with Coffee Concepts, which is owned by Maxim’s Caterers Limited. We need your help in breaking the ties between this these companies.

Shark fin soup, which is mostly served in Chinese banquet menus, poses a threat to the future of the shark species. With more than 70 million sharks being killed each year, many are in danger of becoming extinct. Sign this petition to urge Starbucks to cut ties with a company aiding in the sharks’ demise.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Johnson,

Starbucks needs to cut ties with Maxim. They are reportedly illegally selling shark fin in their restaurants after they have repeatedly commented that they have phased this cruel shark meat out. Starbucks has a lot of pull as a company. In order to ensure the health and safety of sharks, they need to either cut their ties with Maxim or demand that they drop shark fin from their menu indefinitely.

By still operating with this company, Starbucks is tarnishing their name by being tied to the illegal shark fin trade. This needs to come to an end. Starbucks should not support this company. The shark fin trade is illegal and cruel. If nothing is done to stop companies from selling shark fins, then a quarter of the species are going to become extinct. We demand that Starbucks takes action and gives Maxim an ultimatum to stop the reported selling of shark fin for good, or your lucrative partnership will come to a swift end.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: cloneofsnake

Save Britain’s Wild Mammal Population

Target: Her Excellency Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Goal: Protect Britain’s wild mammals from extinction.

One fifth of Britain’s wild mammal population is at high risk of extinction due to habitat loss. Their homes are being paved over and destroyed to make way for more roads, farmland, and industry, leaving many species with nowhere to comfortably live and forage for food. Those in the most danger are currently the Scottish wildcat and the greater mouse-eared bat, plus rabbits, hedgehogs, and water voles.

The loss of even one species is dangerous to the ecosystem, and this many losses at once could spell complete disaster. Wild mammals are essential in controlling certain insect populations, as well as spreading pollen via their fur to aid the growth of wild flora or fruit-bearing trees. Additionally, while industrial progress is a good thing for humans, it should not come at the expense of living creatures who have been inhabiting the forests and the woods for centuries.

Many mammals have survived the brink of extinction to rebuild their numbers in the past, so there may be hope yet for these currently vulnerable species. But it will take great efforts to ensure their protection. Sign this petition to support the conservation of Britain’s wild mammal population.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister May,

Several wild mammal populations are at risk of extinction due to the loss of their habitat, which is being paved over or chopped down to make way for more industrialization. While the growth of industry is beneficial to humans, it should not have to rob innocent wildlife of their homes in order to exist. Currently, the Scottish wildcat and greater mouse-eared bat are in the most danger, with only one male of the latter species remaining.

You must make the effort to prevent these animals from disappearing. They are vital to the ecosystem, as they control insect populations and spread pollen to aid the growth of flowers and fruit-bearing trees. The loss of this many species could spell a large-scale disaster for Britain’s ecology, and you must prevent this. Please fund and support the preservation of forests and woods in order to allow these species a fighting chance.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Peter Trimming

Stop Sanctioning Cruel Wildlife Hunts on Nature Reserves

Target: Johannes Nobunga, CEO of Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency

Goal: Do not allow wildlife hunting for sport at Kruger National Park or the adjacent private nature reserves—lands supposedly dedicated to “conservation.”

Tragically, a male lion was killed when he was most likely lured with bait out of Kruger National Park and into Umbabat Private Nature Reserve, allegedly by an American trophy hunter. Unconfirmed reports by the Daily Maverick suggest that this lion may have been the leader of his pride. If this is the case, his cubs will most likely be killed as well, as the other males of the pride vie for leadership. This tragedy should have been avoidable: the Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR), which owns the land where the lion was killed along with over 1,000 square kilometers of land supposedly meant for “conservation,” did not include this lion in its hunting quota. However, the Daily Maverick reports that permission to hunt was given anyway, under the licensing authority of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency. The organization allowed this despite receiving a Cease and Desist warning from two non-profits, EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading, threatening legal action if the hunt occurred.

This unfathomable cruelty is symptomatic of wider corruption. While the killing of this lion should have fallen outside the realm of permissible hunts as per the APNR quota sanctioned by the Kruger National Park and Provincial Authorities, many argue that no hunting should be allowed on these lands at all. The Daily Maverick article reports that the combined quota for hunting on the national private reserves Timbavati, Klaserie, Umbabat and Balule in 2018 was 4,467 animals, including “52 elephants plus a bull older than 50 in Umbabat which could potentially be a 100-pound tusker, which many argue should never be hunted. It also listed 36 buffalo (despite a 68% drop in numbers to 2,327 in 2017), 44 kudu, 19 warthogs, seven hippos, a lion, a leopard, eight hyenas, five giraffes and 4,171 impalas.” The killing of these innocent animals is a travesty that must be stopped. Sign below to demand that wildlife hunts be forbidden on national reserves and in Kruger National Park.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear CEO Nobunga,

The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency must stop allowing wildlife to be hunted on lands that should be meant for conservation. The tragic killing of a male lion, supposedly lured out of Kruger National Park by an alleged American trophy hunter and killed in Umbabat Private Nature Reserve, was not permitted by the 2018 APNR hunting quota for those lands and never should have been sanctioned by your agency. The existence of this quota is itself an unacceptable cruelty, and should be eliminated entirely.

The innocent wildlife allowed to be hunted on these reserves must be preserved, especially as their numbers continue to plummet. Conservationists, activists, and tourists alike are fighting to stop the killing of these animals. Your agency even received a Cease and Desist warning from the EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading regarding the hunt of the male lion that you permitted to be killed. In addition to the cruelty of the unnecessary deaths of these animals, banning hunts would benefit the tourism industry, which relies on keeping these animals alive. I urge you to stop allowing wildlife to be hunted at Kruger National Park and the surrounding national private reserves.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Johan van der Merwe

Adapt New Technologies to Save North Atlantic Whales

Target: James Landon, Director of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement

Goal: Adapt new regulations for the fishing industry to reduce harm to whales in the wild.

The North Atlantic right whale is facing extinction within the next 20 years due to serious entanglement issues in the ocean caused by methods used in the commercial fishing industry. Most fishers and crabbers use long ropes to keep track of the traps they lay at the ocean floor, something that is seriously damaging whale health. Whales get caught in these ropes and their instinct is to roll, which entangles them further. North Atlantic right whales are currently losing population numbers and not producing as many young as they used to, due to the stress on their bodies from the fishing industry. Less than 20o of these whales exist in the ocean right now.

There is a solution, though. New technology has led to advancements in rope-less trapping in the fishing industry, using sonar GPS signals and other advancements to track any cages or traps. Wildlife groups are calling on the National Marine Fishers Office to step up and help enforce the use of these new technologies. We are going to send a letter to the head of this organization to demand a change in behavior, before it’s too late. Sign the petition below to add your voice to the fight!

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Landon,

We are begging you to make some simple policy changes to the fishing industry that you help regulate. In order to save the whales, we need to implement the newest technology across the world. Please make regulation changes to ensure that whales can stay protected.

If we don’t take these steps now, then we might lose a precious species altogether. Please stand with us in protecting North Atlantic right whales.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Janice Waite

Denounce Ornithologist for Killing Endangered Bird

Target: David Yarnold, CEO of the Audubon Society

Goal: Denounce scientist who killed extremely rare bird in the Solomon Islands.

Deep within the forests of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, a male mustache kingfisher was photographed for the first time shortly before being killed for scientific research. This was Christopher Filardi’s decision, the director of Pacific Programs at the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. According to his field journal, the bird ¨specimen¨ was collected for further speculation despite less than 1,000 remaining in the wild.

Although Dr. Filardi tried to justify his actions by saying that a specimen was needed to accurately record the bird’s features and decipher human impact on the birds’ survival, the scientific community is rightfully outraged. How can someone be searching for a bird for more than 20 years, only to take its life once it is encountered? Sign the petition to decry this unnecessary killing while urging influential conservationists to formally denounce such practices.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Yarnold,

As the CEO of the Audubon Society, you have the responsibility to serve as a watchdog in cases of unethical scientific research. Not long ago, fellow ornithologist Christopher Filardi stumbled across the extremely uncommon male mustache kingfisher on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands – its only known habitat. Moments after being photographed, this endangered species was euthanized. So far you haven’t expressed any outrage on this matter, which is disappointing, to say the least, considering the dwindling population.

In no way, shape, or form does the conservation of birds require killing rare ones for scientific study. Conservation biology doesn’t need to be so bloody. Such practices are going to send the wrong messages to future generations who will feel entitled to kill beautiful creatures found in nature. In short, it will set a dangerous precedent for human-animal interactions. Please rectify this cause by speaking out against this matter.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: American Museum of Nature History

Stop the Disappearance of Songbirds’ Habitat

Target: The Right Honourable Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland

Goal: Protect garden warblers from habitat loss by encouraging the growth and preservation of thick scrubs.

Scotland’s garden warblers may be in danger of total habitat loss due to an increasingly tidy countryside. The birds prefer to live in thick brush over anywhere else, and due to the disappearance of wild brush, the species is becoming harder and harder to spot. Habitat loss often leads to severe endangerment, and possibly extinction.

While wild brush can be a risk due to the possibility of wildfires, it is not fair to simply dispose of all that remains. Brush can easily be contained to certain areas, to create a natural reserve for the birds so that they may enjoy their chosen environment and have a chance to fortify their numbers to prevent possible endangerment.

As of right now, the garden warbler is on the “least concern” list, but is still disappearing. By protecting areas of wild brush, we can take preventive measures against further endangerment of these charming little birds. Sign this petition to demand protected brush areas across Scotland’s countryside.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear First Minister Sturgeon,

Garden warblers are at risk for habitat loss. The birds prefer and thrive in thick brush, which is becoming rarer in Scotland’s increasingly tidy countryside. Understandably, there is a concern about wildfires caused by leaving thick brush to lie everywhere, yet it is not fair to the birds to remove every last trace of it. Habitat loss leads to endangerment, which can lead to extinction in a short time.

Currently, the garden warbler is on the “least concern” list, and you must not let that change. By preserving areas of thick brush as protected safe spaces for the warblers, we can let them thrive in their favored environment, thus eliminating a possible threat of their disappearance down the line. Please fund the creation of such safe spaces by ensuring the preservation of wild brush in the countryside.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Francesco Veronesi

Save Marine Life and Reduce Plastic Waste

Target: Dr. Wijam Simachaya, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Kingdom of Thailand

Goal: Stop mass amounts of mismanaged plastic waste from killing marine animals by minimizing the use of plastic.

A pilot whale that washed ashore in Thailand tragically died after five days in the care of veterinarians, who removed 17 pounds of plastic from the whale’s stomach. They pulled about 80 soaking wet plastic trash bags from inside the whale. Plastic debris is a global problem and is massively dangerous to wildlife—especially marine animals, because so much of this waste ends up in the ocean, where these animals mistake it for food. This is what scientists at the Thailand Department of Marine and Coastal Services say is the likely cause of this pilot whale’s death. As Nick Mallos of the Ocean Conservancy states, “Whether it’s a straw or whether it’s a bottle cap, those items can be eaten by animals, and they pose threats through getting stuck in their digestive tracts. It can tear their stomachs. So these products in their entirety are problematic, but what’s equally, if not even more, concerning is that over time these materials are in the ocean, they begin to break up into smaller and smaller pieces.”

According to a study in the journal Science, Thailand was among the six countries with the most “mismanaged plastic waste” in 2010. In light of the example of this whale’s death—which is one of the hundreds of thousands of marine deaths caused by plastic that go largely unnoticed by humans—many are calling on Thailand’s government to take action to reduce plastic by taxing either producers or consumers. As Enric Sala, a marine ecologist with National Geographic, points out, “Every minute [there] is the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic going into the ocean. The problem is so huge, but the solution is easy. We can stop plastic from getting into the ocean, and this has to happen at different levels.” Sign below to demand that Thailand do its part and reduce its plastic waste to save our oceans.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Dr. Simachaya,

The horrific death of a pilot whale that washed ashore on the beaches of Thailand with 17 pounds of plastic lodged in its stomach is indicative of the massive threat posed to our ocean environments and marine life by plastic waste. This threat cannot continue to go unchecked. According to marine ecologist Enric Sala, “Every minute [there] is the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic going into the ocean.” Thailand must do its part to help solve this problem.

A study reported that Thailand was one of the top countries with “mismanaged plastic waste” in the year 2010. This problem is rampant in the Asia-Pacific region in particular, and it is therefore your responsibility to ensure that your country does its part. Now is the time to reduce Thailand’s plastic waste and ensure that it is better managed, by imposing taxes either on companies that produce these plastics or on the consumers who use them. I urge you to protect our environment for future generations, and to save the lives of the innocent creatures being killed by human waste. Please take steps immediately to reduce Thailand’s plastic use and keep our oceans clean.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Fabi Fliervoet

Do Not Allow Yellowstone Bison to be Slaughtered

Target: Ryan Zinke, United States Secretary of the Interior

Goal: Do not give in to demands from ranchers to kill herds of bison living in Yellowstone National Park.

Ranchers in Montana and Wyoming have pressured the federal government for years, urging them to kill off wild bison in nearby Yellowstone National Park due to overblown fears of the spread of certain diseases, including Brucellosis. Despite the fact that bison are a native species on the rebound after nearly becoming extinct over a century ago, this fear mongering has led Secretary Ryan Zinke, the head of the U.S. Department of the Interior, to call for the mass slaughter of these creatures.

Yellowstone National Park’s current superintendent, Dan Wenk, claims he is being forced to retire from his position because of his disagreements with Zinke, a Trump-appointed official with a long track record of opposing wildlife conservation. Wenk stands by research conducted by park biologists that suggests that the land can easily support the 4,000 estimated bison currently living there, and that the bison are not causing overgrazing, as Zinke and his staff have claimed.

The case for killing Yellowstone’s bison rests on bad science and a desire to put profits over conservation and the environment. Sign this petition to tell Zinke that the bison in Yellowstone have every right to remain and thrive on this protected land.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Zinke,

I’m writing to inform you that the National Park Service is not a livestock management program, and should not be treated as such. The 4,000 estimated bison that live in Yellowstone National Park are a part of the natural ecosystem, and should not be removed to satisfy local ranchers.

Your demands that Yellowstone officials, including superintendent Dan Wenk, cull at least 1,000 bison may satisfy the livestock industry, but it is bad for the environment and for the many tourists that visit the park with the hopes of seeing these majestic creatures. If these animals are killed, the only people who will benefit are a handful of ranchers whose operations extend to near the park’s boundaries. We urge you to look at the scientific research for yourself and to not call for this senseless killing of Yellowstone’s bison.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Daniel Mayer

Stop the Decline of Australia’s Large Fish Species

Target: The Honourable David Littleproud, Australia’s Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

Goal: Protect Australia’s large fish species from further decline.

Excessive fishing has caused a decline of 30 percent in several of Australia’s large fish species. While climate and habitat change also play a role in this decline, it has recently been shown that overfishing is the lead cause. And while 30 percent in the past decade may seem like a small decline, it is a slippery slope when it comes to wildlife vulnerability and endangerment.

Every wildlife species is important to the ecosystem, but large fish are especially vital as they control the krill and plankton populations as well as any potential overgrowth of seaweed or algae. Marine ecologists are pushing for a review of the current fisheries and their impact on the environment; unfortunately, assistant minister for agriculture and water resources Anne Ruston claims there is no need for such a review, calling the fisheries “world class.”

We cannot allow overfishing to cause a further decline in large fish species. The loss of even a single one could do irreparable damage to the oceans and overall environment. Sign this petition to demand the ministry allow the review and aid in the protection of large fish species.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Littleproud,

Australia’s seas have seen a slow but steady decline of several large fish populations due to excessive fishing, in addition to climate and habitat change. This is a slippery slope, as 30 percent can easily become more, and lead to extinction within years. Every species of fish is vital to the ecosystem, and larger fish control the population of smaller ones as well as any overgrowth of seaweed or algae.

You must allow for a review of Australia’s fisheries as soon as possible. Excessive fishing has been a problem for years, causing a decline in many other fish species as well as endangering other marine wildlife. Fisheries need to be evaluated and possibly changed in order to protect these fish species from further decline.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sea Dave