It’s Endangered Species Day and we have the perfect way to celebrate our nation’s wildlife and wild places—become a member of Friends of Animals. (If you already are, please consider donating to our Wildlife Law Program today.)
At FoA, everyday feels like Endangered Species Day because of all the work our Wildlife Law Program does to get new species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to prevent others from being delisted. Conservation actions carried out in the U.S. under the ESA have been successful in preventing extinction for 99 percent of the species that are listed as endangered or threatened, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Currently, we have a case progressing in court to get protection for the queen conch under the ESA. We are losing these indispensable marine animals because they are prized for their meat and large shells and are commercially harvested in 25 countries. We are also in the process of challenging FWS’s rejection of our petition to list the Pryor Mountain wild horse population, a distinct population of horses who reside in Montana and Wyoming, under the ESA.
We need your support more than ever as the ESA is facing some of its toughest challenges since its inception. The Trump administration is pushing a proposal that would repeal a little-known rule within ESA that protects threatened wildlife. If repealed, it will launch scores of new regulations, slow the ESA process to a crawl, waste millions of taxpayer dollars and further drive wildlife to extinction.
Additionally, U.S Rep. Rob Bishop, a Republican from Utah who is chair of the Natural Resources Committee, has thrown his full support behind a bevy of bills that would also weaken the act. One bill, called the SAVES Act, would do the opposite and actually puts elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas, tigers and giant pandas at risk. Another bill would gut the very heart of the ESA by allowing government agencies to preclude the listing of threatened species based on economic interests. Others would make it tougher for citizens to sue on behalf of endangered species and strip safeguards for gray wolves.