Don’t Put a Price on the Lives of Endangered Species

Target: Greg Sheehan, Principle Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Don’t put a price on the protection of endangered species.

Endangered species not deemed “economical” may soon be left for dead. The Trump Administration is proposing changes to the federal Endangered Species Act that would decide the fate of a species based on monetary factors, not scientific ones.

These changes came about after complaints from the logging, mining, and farming industries who argued the Endangered Species Act was making it hard to profitably continue business. This will put gray wolves, whales, and even the bald eagle, our national bird, at risk.

While proponents of these changes say they will give a boost to the economy, what they fail to realize is endangered species actually add economic value to our country by improving land, air, and water quality. Meanwhile, a price can never be placed on the value of living things. Sign the petition to demand that the Trump Administration abandon these plans.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Sheehan,

Endangered species may soon be left for dead if they’re not considered “valuable.” Logging, mining, and farming industries feel burdened by “limitations” of the Endangered Species Act and ask that they be lightened to allow for industry to profit.

However, whatever gains are made in industry will quickly be eliminated by the irreparable damage to our land, water, and air. A price cannot be placed on the future of living beings. I demand that you abandon these plans to alter the Endangered Species Act.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pacific Southwest Region USFW

Punish Pair Accused of Killing Protected Black Bear and Cubs

Target: Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney General of Alaska

Goal: Punish father and son charged with killing a black bear and her cubs.

Two men charged with killing a protected black bear and her cubs are finally being taken to court, months after the incident. Video footage reportedly showed father and son Andrew and Owen Renning trespassing on a remote bear den; the pair reportedly claimed not to have known that the sow and her cubs were part of an observation program, or that it is illegal to kill black bears in most of Alaska.

Ignorance is no excuse for such alleged actions. Black bears are one of Alaska’s most threatened species to date, especially as the laws for their protection have been challenged multiple times by greedy hunters or even the government. These men allegedly committed a grave injustice against these poor animals; the cubs were reportedly heard screaming as their mother was gunned down, right before they themselves died, all allegedly so two men could attain some form of glory. The bears were skinned after their death; it is unknown whether they were meant to be trophies, or fur or meat to sell on the market.

We must ensure that these men face justice, to set an example for other hunters planning to trespass on protected animals. Sign this petition to demand these men face justice for their alleged slaughter of innocent animals.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Attorney General Lindemuth,

A family of black bears was reportedly slaughtered by a duo of hunters, who allegedly claimed ignorance when told that it was illegal to hunt black bears in Anchorage, Alaska and that these three particular bears were part of an observation program. The duo has been taken to court months after the incident.

Claiming ignorance does not erase the dirty nature of their alleged deed. Black bears are one of the most threatened species in Alaska, especially with their protection laws being challenged as the government tries to revoke them to satisfy trophy hunters and the paranoid stereotype of bears as dangerous predators. These two men must face justice for their alleged slaughter of these creatures, to set an example for other hunters who may ever consider trespassing on protected grounds. We demand the maximum penalty be sought in this case.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: beingmyself

Protect Chimp Sanctuary From Dam Flooding

Target: Alpha Condé, President of Guinea

Goal: Stop construction of dam on chimp sanctuary in Guinea.

Guinea’s government is planning the construction of a dam in the same area as a chimp sanctuary the same company supported less than a year ago. The Moyen-Bafing National Park is home to 4,000 chimps, almost half of which will be wiped out by the flooding caused by the dam or driven into the surrounding areas, causing deadly territorial conflicts.

It is cruel for construction projects to force their way into a sanctuary, especially a sanctuary for a genus of primates whose numbers have dropped drastically within the past few years. Flooding and territorial conflicts aside, the construction of this dam will interrupt the lifestyle of the chimps residing in the sanctuary, robbing them of food, habitat, and the peace needed to breed and raise their families.

Western chimpanzees are critically endangered, especially in Guinea, where the healthiest population is 16,500. If this sanctuary is threatened, chimpanzees will go extinct in a matter of years. Sign this petition to protect this sanctuary and the chimps within.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Condé,

Your government’s plans to build a dam in Moyen-Bafing National Park will endanger over 1,000 chimps who call the sanctuary their home, either flooding them to death or forcing them into the surrounding areas and causing deadly territorial conflicts. This sanctuary is meant to be a safe haven for many species of chimp, which are critically endangered in Guinea and need a chance to rebuild their numbers safely.

Do not let the government build this dam. World Bank, the company who initially supported the plans, is now calling for a moratorium on the project, but the plans have yet to be cancelled. It is unethical to rob innocent chimps of their home for the sake of construction. You must cancel this project immediately or demand the government find elsewhere to go ahead with it, somewhere that will not harm animals or wildlife.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sergio Morchon

Trump: Do Not Lift Ban on Bee-Killing Pesticides

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Stop the Trump administration from lifting ban on pesticides linked to the declining bee population.

An Obama-era ban on pesticides has been lifted by the Trump administration, endangering the already at-risk bee population even further. Neonicotinoid pesticides, which are banned in the United Kingdom, were once outlawed in the United States as well, but are now being allowed “to ensure adequate forage for migratory birds” such as ducks and geese. The move also aids farming practices via the use of GMOs consistently found in neonicotinoids.

This move could wipe out the bee population for good if not stopped immediately, leading to the breakdown of the ecosystem. Bees are pollinators, responsible for spreading seeds across the land and aiding in the growth of plants and trees worldwide; without them, flora growth will suffer a harsh loss. Worse, the use of these lethal pesticides and crops modified to contain them will negatively effect human consumption of foods such as corn and soybeans, which are among the most genetically modified plants on earth.

We cannot allow the complete destruction of all bee life in the United States. Sign this petition to demand the Trump administration replace the ban on neonicotinoids immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. President,

Your administration’s rollback of the neonicotinoid ban is dangerous and unethical. These pesticides are toxic to all living beings, but especially to the already endangered bee population. Bees are highly important to the ecosystem due to their roles as pollinators; without them, we will suffer a great loss of important trees and flora.

The excuse that hunters and farmers need these toxic chemicals is unacceptable. Not only is excessive hunting of wildfowl illegal in the United States, but the farming industry does not need a boost the way wildlife does. You cannot put the entire planet’s bees at risk to help hunters and farmers make a larger profit. Put the neonicotinoids ban back in place immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Marciej-A Czyzewski

End the Trend of Killing Polar Bears for Tourism’s Sake

Target: Ellen Hambro, Director General of the Norwegian Environment Agency

Goal: Protest the killing of a polar bear defending its home.

A man suffered serious injury and was near-death, while a critically endangered animal lost its life. This is the latest legacy from unneeded, dangerous tourism practices in the Arctic. Now, the one snapshot tourists of a German cruise ship will likely remember will not be an image of beautiful mountains, snow, and tundra. Rather, the lasting picture from this excursion will be the bloodied carcass of a polar bear shot by the sea.

The tragedy unfolded when a German-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises ship took tourists to a group of islands near the North Pole–islands  often dubbed an ‘Arctic fairy tale’ for their wondrous scenery. Fairy tale would soon turn to genuine nightmare, however, when polar bear guards (individuals meant to block a harmful encounter with the native bears) disembarked ahead of the tour group. After a bear spotted one of the guards encroaching on its habitat, it allegedly charged at the man and wounded him. The other guards had allegedly tried other methods to scare away the polar bear before tragically resorting to deadly force.

While this incident may have been unavoidable in the moment, the true outrage lies in such a potentially deadly and dangerous situation being allowed in the first place. Scientists have long warned that climate change, melting ice, and subsequent changes in food supplies are essentially forcing polar bears into territories where human encounters and aggression levels are higher. Officials in these regions post plentiful warnings about the dangers of polar bear encounters, but they still enable, and even seemingly encourage, reckless tourist intrusions.

Sign this petition to demand those responsible for preserving these picturesque lands put protection ahead of profit and curb activities that will facilitate more slaughter.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director General Hambro,

A polar bear mauls a camping man in the back, dragging him away from friends. Another bear attacks an ‘adventurer’ group. The German cruise line employees who allegedly shot an attacking bear likely had similar flashes of doom streaking through their minds when they took deadly action.

Who put them in this position, caught between killing a critically endangered animal or saving the life of one of their own? When you sanction so much tourist activity in these wildlands, do you think about he individuals killed and maimed, or the many more polar bears that have faced a sudden death in the past few decades? Do you consider how each of these ‘necessary’ deaths diminishes just a little more a population that even now exists only in the low thousands?

If these questions have plagued you, or do plague you now in the wake of the most recent tragedy, please take action. Reevaluate the tourism policies that are further endangering a cherished native creature already driven from its habitat by climate change and human inaction.

Save the polar bears. Save lives.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Flickr Favorites

Save Baby Orca From Death by Starvation

Target: Barry Thorn, Regional Administrator of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries West Coast Region

Goal: Take emergency measures to save an emaciated juvenile from a highly endangered orca population.

Researchers fear that a young orca from a particularly endangered group of killer whales may only have days to live unless emergency measures are taken to feed and provide her with potentially life-saving medicine. The four-year-old identified as J50, or ‘Scarlet,’ is one of only a handful of juveniles left within the declining Southern Resident Orca population, who are struggling to find enough food to eat in the waters off the coast of Washington.

The crisis Scarlet is facing is only the latest evidence that Southern Resident Orcas need our help. As Scarlet clings to life, another member of this endangered population has gained worldwide attention for carrying her deceased newborn calf around for over a week in an act of apparent mourning.

U.S. government officials cannot simply stand by and watch when action can be taken to save Scarlet and other ailing whales like her. Scarlet needs food and life-saving medicine delivered to her immediately. Sign this petition to call for an emergency plan to intervene on this young whale’s behalf.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Regional Administrator Thorn,

A young whale in the Southern Resident Orca population is showing clear signs of distress. J50, also known as Scarlet, is dangerously emaciated and is estimated to only have days left to live unless something is done. We must intervene and take measures to save her life to help protect this declining group of whales.

We ask that you devote resources to assessing her current condition to see what can be done to improve her health as non-invasively as possible, including delivering food and medicine as needed. Long-term measures to protect the Chinook salmon stock that these whales depend on must be looked at as well, but for now we ask that you coordinate an emergency response to save this young whale before it is too late. With every remaining life precious and necessary to the future survival of this iconic orca population, we urge you to do all you can to save her from a cruel, slow death.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: rebuildingdemocracy

Crack Down on Dolphin Feeding That Puts Wild Animals at Risk

Target: Phil Bryant, Governor of Mississippi

Goal: Enact laws that more strictly prohibit the feeding of wild dolphins to protect them from harm.

Over the past sixteen years, researchers investigating the remains of dolphins found dead in the Gulf of Mexico have discovered that 21 of them died of apparent gunshot wounds, including one pregnant female. Experts now suspect that these tragic deaths may be tied to the fact that many wild dolphins look to humans for food because of tourists and others feeding them illegally.

While those responsible for having killed the pregnant female dolphin earlier this year and others like her have not yet been found and brought to justice, marine biologists believe this trend will continue as long as dolphins look to people for food. They suspect that the dolphins may have been killed by fishermen who shot the animals as a form of revenge for taking fish from their nets after these animals began seeking them out for food.

Dolphins must not learn to associate people with food for their own good. Sign below and demand that Mississippi officials enact stronger laws to hold people accountable for feeding wild dolphins and putting their lives at risk.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Bryant,

The ongoing mystery surrounding the suspicious dolphin deaths in the northern Gulf of Mexico has left animal lovers deeply concerned, but experts say the cause may not be so mysterious after all. The 21 dolphins that have been discovered dead from gunshot wounds over the past sixteen years were likely targeted by fishermen frustrated with the animals after they stole from their nets. According to marine biologists, this kind of behavior can be directly attributed to humans regularly giving these wild creatures food handouts.

Wild animals, including dolphins, not only become more trusting when offered food by humans, but also more daring. As a result, they may begin to beg or even steal food in a brazen manner. These confrontations put their lives at risk, and unfortunately may have led to these tragic deaths. That is why I am urging you not just to seek out and punish those responsible for directly harming these dolphins, but to also enact stronger laws that hold everyone accountable for ensuring wild creatures remain wild and not dependent on people for food.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Juanma Carrillo

Demand ‘Red List’ Status for Declining Penguin Species

Target: Inger Andersen, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature

Goal: Reevaluate the conservation status of king penguins after drastic drop in population.

Scientists studying king penguins living on the remote island of Ile Aux Cochon, a French territory between the southern tip of Africa and Antarctica, are sounding the alarm that these creatures are in serious trouble. With an estimated 200,000 birds remaining on the island, a mere 10 percent of the population just three decades ago, they are now calling on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to add this species to their “red list” of threatened and endangered wildlife.

Penguins are known for maintaining stable colonies for many decades, making it unlikely that these birds have gone somewhere else. This means that the most likely explanation for the colony’s collapse is that these birds have either died off or that they have been unsuccessful in reproducing, perhaps as a result of climate change.

The colony at Ile Aux Cochon is thought to represent at least a third of the global population of king penguins. Now that so many have disappeared, the time has come to reevaluate this species’ conservation status, which is still considered by the IUCN to be “least concern.” Sign this petition to urge this international board to add this declining species to their red list of threatened and endangered species so they can receive the additional protection they deserve.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director General Andersen,

The number of king penguins living on the French-controlled island of Ile Aux Cochon has declined by nearly 90 percent, perhaps as a result of poor breeding success linked to climate change. As this island’s colony is thought to be home to at least a third of the world’s king penguins, this drastic population drop is a real cause for concern that demands a reevaluation of their current conservation status.

If these birds are indeed threatened by global warming, adding them to the IUCN’s red list could put additional pressure on nations worldwide to increase their efforts to combat the harmful effects of excessive carbon emissions and other forms of pollution. Please look into the scientific evidence regarding the outlook for this species and the threats they face, and act accordingly before it is too late.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bernard Spragg.NZ

Trump: Don’t Dismantle Safety Rule Protecting Dolphins From Oil Spills

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Do not eliminate safeguards and risk another catastrophic oil spill like the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The Trump administration is not only pushing to expand offshore drilling despite the extreme environmental threats it poses, but is now also trying to eliminate key safety rules that are in place to prevent future oil disasters. The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, a catastrophic oil spill in 2010, had devastating effects that are still being felt today. The Well Control Rule is a safeguard that was put in place after this tragedy to prevent such a thing from happening again. It is one of the few safety measures we have, and the Trump administration’s proposed revisions to this rule weaken it deeply and render offshore drilling even more dangerous.

Over 200 million gallons of oil were dumped into the Gulf of Mexico during the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. After an exploratory well blowout, the company’s rig exploded, killing 11 crew members and resulting in 87 days of spillage before engineers managed to seal the blowout. Oceana reports that multiple studies have confirmed that oil contamination is a critical factor in the Gulf of Mexico’s longest and largest recorded dolphin die-out. The organization states, “Make no mistake: right now, in the Gulf of Mexico, dolphins are still suffering from the effects of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill catastrophe.” Research shows that dolphins currently living in this area only give birth to calves 19% of the time, and estimates that it will take as long as 40 years for their populations to recover. It is unacceptable to further increase risks of this type of devastation occurring again. Sign below to demand that the Well Control Rule be left intact, preserving the safeguards against catastrophic oil spills and protecting the dolphins.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

Your administration’s intent to weaken the Well Control Rule—one of the only safeguards against devastating oil spills, which even now does not provide sufficient protection—is unacceptable. These types of disasters are catastrophic for the environment and for dolphin populations, not to mention dangerous for workers and for coastal communities. It is nothing short of reckless and irresponsible to roll back protections while your administration simultaneously seeks to expand offshore oil drilling.

The horrific effects of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster—the spill that claimed the lives of 11 crew members, dumped over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 days, and contributed to the worst dolphin die-off in that area’s recorded history—are still being felt. This type of catastrophe must be avoided at all costs. The proposed dismantling of safety standards would make offshore drilling even more dangerous, which must not be allowed to happen. I urge you to protect the safety of our environment, our marine life, and our coastal communities. Do not weaken the protections of the Well Control Rule.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Green Fire Productions

Don’t Allow Trophy Hunters to Bring Back Heads From Slaughtered Lions

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Reverse decision to allow trophy hunters to gain permits to bring back the heads and other body parts from slaughtered lions.

American trophy hunters are being given permission to bring back the severed heads and other body parts from lions they have killed in various parts of Africa. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service appears to be condoning this barbaric practice, issuing at least three dozen such permits over the past two years.

The news that so many permits have been issued for lion trophies is unsurprising, given the fact that the Trump administration has also recently allowed hunters to start bringing back trophies from slain elephants as well. However, the fact that many of these hunters are wealthy Republican donors has raised more than a few eyebrows among environmental watchdog groups.

The idea that hunting somehow helps to protect vulnerable species has been proven time and again to be false. If lions and other threatened African wildlife are to survive in their native land, they must be allowed to live without the threat of being shot by trophy hunters or poachers. Sign this petition and demand that President Trump stop allowing Americans to bring back lion trophies from their bloodthirsty expeditions.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

Trophy hunting is a wasteful and barbaric practice that does nothing to help the conservation of threatened and endangered species. Despite this fact, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has issued three dozen permits over the past two years to allow American hunters to bring back the severed heads and other body parts from lions they have killed while abroad. Many of these hunters are wealthy donors for a variety of Republican fundraising efforts, which seriously calls into question the ethics and motivation behind granting these permits in the first place.

Being allowed to kill a lion for the thrill of bringing home a trophy should not be given as a reward for political contributions or other favors. The survival of all lions and many other iconic African species is on the line. We demand that you stop allowing American hunters, regardless of political ideology, to bring back trophies from lions they have killed.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk