Protecting Endangered Species
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) has prevented the extinction for approximately 99% of species under its protection since its enactment in 1973.
FoA has submitted several petitions to U.S. federal agencies to gain protections for animals that are in danger of extinction largely due to human exploitation. Some of the species we have submitted petitions for include the following: giant devil ray, Egyptian tortoise, spider tortoise, flat-tailed tortoise, and long-tailed chinchilla. (We would love to hear of any experiences you have had with these animals. Please email us any stories you have observing these animals in respectful way.)
Friends of Animals’ petitions secured ESA protections for four populations of scalloped hammerhead shark, three rare parrot species, four species of sturgeon, and a distinct population of wild horses.
Friends of Animals has also submitted comments in support of listing giraffes, who are threatened by habitat loss, trophy hunting, poaching, climate change, mining and the bushmeat trade, under the ESA. Because giraffes have no protections in the U.S. hunters here are able to import giraffe animal parts for trophies and their body parts are also used for jewelry, pelts and other consumer items.
These charismatic animals known for their massive size and intellect continue to decline in the wild. Unfortunately, they are continually exploited for entertainment and senseless products. Friends of Animals has submitted two petitions to protect elephants from this exploitation.
First, Friends of Animals submitted a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restrict the ability of U.S. zoos to import African elephants. There is overwhelming evidence that ripping elephants from their families and homes in the wild to be put on display in zoos is traumatic and detrimental to the elephants’ physical and emotional health. It also has no value for the conservation of elephants in the wild.
Second, Friends of Animals submitted a petition to update U.S. regulations that completely fail to protect elephants from a growing demand for elephant skins that is driving the animals closer to extinction. Despite nearly world-wide regulations on the trade of ivory, there is thriving illegal and legal market in elephant skins. The amount of elephant skins legally imported into the U.S. is increasing dramatically and Friends of Animals seeks to put an end to this trade immediately.
Speaking Out Against Fish Farming
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a permit for a new aquaculture facility to dump pollutants into the Gulf of Mexico. This facility is the first of its kind in the Gulf of Mexico, and too many uncertainties exist to approve this permit. Friends of Animals submitted a comment to point out risk with this facility, including the threat to endangered animals and the possibility to contribute to catastrophic outbreaks of algal blooms. Several pieces of federal legislation mandate that EPA pay attention to these issues and Friends of Animals asked EPA to further assess these areas before opening what it plans to be the first of many foreseeable aquaculture projects. Read our objections here.
Requesting Critical Habitat for Yellow Billed Cuckoos
As the climate in the American west becomes warmer and drier, many species struggle to adapt. The Yellow-Billed Cuckoo has lost roughly 90% of habitat that it needs to survive. This habitat loss stems from a variety of causes: invasive species, agricultural crops, conversion of land for livestock, and development. Gas and oil interests in the west hold heavy influence over what land becomes protected. Friends of Animals submitted comments to show that the Yellow Billed Cuckoo needs as much protection as possible and ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct a full and thorough NEPA analysis of each designated site.
Defending the Arctic
The Arctic Refuge is one of the last truly wild places in the U.S. It is home to some of the most stunning populations of wildlife in the world including denning polar bears, porcupine caribou, grizzlies, wolves, wolverines, muskoxen, and more than 130 species of migratory birds. Congress recognized the need to preserve the area sixty years ago and it remained protected until recently when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 included a provision that opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development. Not only would such development devastate wildlife in the area, it would also be a major step back from a safe and sustainable energy future. Friends of Animals has submitted multiple comments urging Congress and federal agencies to protect this area from destructive oil and gas developments and leasing.