Protect Endangered Dragonfly from Extinction

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

Goal: Enact protections for the rare and endangered southern snaketail dragonfly.

A rare dragonfly found in America’s south may soon go extinct. The southern snaketail dragonfly is found in Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana. Scientists, conservationists, and dragonfly experts classify the green dragonfly as “vulnerable.”

Pollution is the main factor in the rapid decrease of the dragonfly’s numbers. Mining, logging, and pesticides from runoff create water pollution that destroy the dragonfly’s larvae. Without healthy offspring, the dragonfly cannot hope to survive.

The southern snaketail dragonfly is just one of the more than 40 plant, animal, and insect species the Center for Biological Diversity is demanding protection for. Sign the petition to demand the federal government act immediately to classify the southern snaketail dragonfly as endangered, and demand the government award it all of the protections that come with such a title.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Sheehan,

The Center for Biological Diversity has recently released a list of over 40 plant, animal, and insect species it believes deserve protection. The southern snaketail dragonfly, found in America’s south, is quickly facing extinction. Water pollution is killing its offspring, ensuring that the population cannot grow.

I demand action be taken now to preserve the future of this insect. Every living being, no matter its size, deserves a chance at survival. Classify the southern snaketail dragonfly as endangered and award it all of the privileges and protections such a title carries with it.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: De terre

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 Hydroelectric Dams from Destroying Cambodia’s Ecosystems

Target: Hun Sen, Cambodian Prime Minister

Goal: Prevent dams constructed for hydropower from negatively impacting fishing migration patterns and fishers’ and farmers’ livelihoods.

Eleven hydroelectric dam projects along the Mekong River in Cambodia threaten the area’s river ecology and fish populations. These dams could irreparably harm seasonal flood patterns and the livelihoods of the farmers and fishermen who rely on the river. Permanent environmental destruction will occur with the development of the hydroelectric dams.

During monsoon season, the Mekong River floods May through November and backs up into the Tonle Sap River and Tonle Sap Lake. After the rain ends and water recedes, the river flow reverses in the Tonle Sap River and it returns to being a tributary to the Mekong River. Farmers rely on the flood waters bringing nutrients and sediment to their farm fields and fishermen rely on the predictable fish migration patterns. Residents in the area have built their lives and culture around the flooding, constructing floating or stilted homes and using the natural patterns of the river for their income. The dams would significantly alter this hydrology, changing fish migration patterns, altering sediment deposition, and otherwise threatening the food security of the area. Fish and rice are food staples not only in Cambodia but in all of Southeast Asia.

The hydroelectric dams might be a step towards modernizing Cambodia but they will come at a cost. The livelihoods of the residents that the hydropower will purportedly help could be destroyed by this development. That is not to mention the significant environmental destruction. Sign the petition to prevent the destruction of the Mekong River and irreversible damage to the residents who rely on it.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Hun Sen,

The hydroelectric dam projects up and down the Mekong River threaten Cambodia’s ecosystems and residents. It is understood that the hydroelectric dams are meant to modernize Cambodia and provide electricity to the half of the population without, but this comes at a significant cost. The residents here have adapted to the predictable flood patterns during monsoon season, building their lives and culture around it. Farmers and fishermen rely on fish migration patterns and sediment deposition to feed themselves and the region. The majority of the region’s fish, rice, and vegetables come from small farms. Cambodia’s food security would be threatened, not to mention all of Southeast Asia. All of this would be permanently and negatively impacted by changing the hydrology of the Mekong River with more hydroelectric dams.

Please, do not let modernization destroy your ecosystems and residents’ lives. Consideration needs to be made for the damage to the Mekong River hydrology, fishing migration patterns, and the residents who rely on the river to feed their families. Stop the development of these hydroelectric dams and allow your citizens to carry on their way of life unimpeded.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Steven Pavlov

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

Protect Us from Polluters: Eliminate Corruption in the EPA

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Remove political appointees with conflicts of interest from the EPA.

Close to 50% of EPA political appointees have ties to industry under the current administration, according to a study by the AP. With high-ranking officials in positions to ignore or bend the rules for former employees, questions regarding conflict of interest are raised. How can the EPA protect the public and enforce environmental regulations with so many employees having questionable loyalties?

The EPA recently named Steven Cook as the new chair of the Superfund Task Force, after the former chair resigned amid scandal. Cook has been at the EPA since February of 2018 as the deputy assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management, but prior to that spent over two decades as a lawyer for LyondellBasell Industries, one of the country’s largest chemicals, plastics, and refining companies, and a known past and allegedly present-day polluter. Of the approximately 1,300 toxic cleanup sites that the Superfund Task Force is in charge of monitoring, six are the responsibility of Lyondell Chemical Co., a subsidiary of Cook’s former employer. In 2010, Lyondell Chemical Co. settled with the U.S. government for $250 million for the cleanup of these six Superfund sites as well as nine other polluted sites. LyondellBasell is suspected by the EPA of polluting over thirty other sites.

The person previously entrusted to defend a known polluter is now in charge of supposedly expediting cleanup at their pollution sites, and many others. Rather than recuse himself, Cook, along with many other EPA officials previously from these industries, hides behind the flimsy belief that the ethics briefings mandated by the EPA are enough. But these are not sufficient to guarantee impartiality or the public’s safety. Sign the petition to call for the investigation and removal from the EPA of political appointees with ties to companies being regulated.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

The EPA under your administration has become a corrupt, toothless organization. Rather than protecting the environment and enforcing regulation, the EPA under your guidance is being systematically dismantled from within by employees who formerly represented or worked for the companies they are supposed to be regulating. The AP identifies one-third of last year’s 60 hires to the EPA as former lawyers or lobbyists for EPA-regulated companies. Nearly half of political appointees under your administration have some connection with industries regulated by the EPA. Steven Cook, the chair of the Superfund Task Force, spent over twenty years as a lawyer for a company whose sites he is now in charge of remediating.

This kind of flagrant ethical violation will not be tolerated by the American people. Discontinue the appointment of regulators from companies that are regulated, and remove people like Steven Cook, Nancy Beck, and countless others from positions where they can benefit their former employers. We need and deserve a clean environment, free from unregulated and unmitigated pollution.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: WhisperToMe

Environment vs. Polluters: Don’t Let the EPA Tip the Scales in Pollution’s Favor

Target: Charlotte Bertrand, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator of the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

Goal: Continue measuring the impact of environmental damage and human health when crafting environmental policies.

As the ethics scandals continue piling up for EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, he is continuing to enact damaging and counterintuitive environmental policies largely unchecked and under the radar. The latest affront to the EPA’s mission came when Pruitt announced that the agency would fundamentally change the way it shapes regulatory guidelines. The regulations put in place by the EPA have large implications for both the environment and public health. These include environmental laws that limit pollutants contaminating the air and water.

In the wake of other detrimental decisions regarding deregulations on emissions and asbestos, the EPA is aiming to restructure the cost-benefit analysis model it utilizes in creating its regulations. Currently, these analyses take into account much more than financial numbers. Rather, they also strongly consider hidden costs such as the dangers a substance might pose to a person’s health, or the slow-building destruction it might bring to our lands and our resources. For example, due to its negative effects on the environment, a previous analysis of carbon put its social cost at 36 dollars per ton. Under the new EPA leadership, the cost of this pollutant has plummeted to just five dollars per ton. Cost-benefit analysis has been a centerpiece for crafting such environmentally important policies as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Altering this vital tool will strike a blow to the heart of these important protections.

The EPA has opened this proposed change to input from experts and from the public. Sign this petition to let the leadership know that Americans value the preservation of our environment and our health over corporate profits.

PETITON LETTER:

Dear Ms. Bertrand.

The EPA recently devalued the role of public health data in informing EPA policy. And with your asbestos decision, you dismissed the carcinogens lurking in our environment that will impact the health of citizens for decades to come. Now the EPA wants to say once again that the health and well-being of our citizens and of our environment just does not have that much value.

The proposed changes to the agency’s cost-benefit analysis system will benefit only one sector of our population: corporations that crave more deregulation in their unending quest for greater profit. You did not take an oath to work for or service these entities. Your oath is to the environment and the people inhabiting it that have always stood central to the EPA’s true mission.

We the people value wellness. We value our health and the health of our children. And we value the well-being of the world that we will leave to future generations….hopefully in a better way than we found it. This is our cost-benefit analysis, and it should be yours as well.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Environmental Protection Agency

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