PETITION TARGET: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Director Aurelia Skipwith
UPDATE (3/7/2022): The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) considered whether to afford seven species of pangolins with protections under the Endangered Species Act, but in 2021 declined to give them those needed protections under 4e — a rarely used provision that would give FWS discretion to protect species that look so much like an endangered species that enforcement officials would struggle to tell the difference, said Sarah Uhlemann, with the Center for Biological Diversity. But the FWS still has to decide whether pangolins warrant full protections under the more standard ESA provisions in 2025, and Uhlemann said the Center is confident all species will be protected at that point. We’ll keep watching this case.
As the world’s most trafficked mammal, pangolins suffer immensely as poachers chop down and burn their treetop homes, throw the defenseless animals into bags, and transport them on nightmarish journeys before beating them to near-death and boiling the pangolins alive for “medicine.” This repulsive trade impacts people, too; the new coronavirus may have been first transmitted to humans by a pangolin.
Sadly, the United States market is helping feed this ruthless trade — but there is new hope. Following a lawsuit from multiple activist groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must decide by June, 2021 whether all pangolins will be protected under the Endangered Species Act, which would fully ban the horrific trade in the United States.
From 2004 to 2013 in the U.S, authorities confiscated 26,000 imports of pangolin products, the Center for Biological Diversity reported. And pangolin parts have been found in “medicinal” products in the U.S., according to a 2015 Humane Society International report.
Despite an international ban on pangolin trafficking in 2017, this brutal practice hasn’t stopped.
We must defend these innocent creatures from the brutal violence they endure in the wildlife trade and help prevent future zoonotic disease outbreaks by banning pangolin trafficking completely.
Sign this petition urging U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith to protect pangolins under the Endangered Species Act, ending a bloody, illegal trade that harms both animals and people.