I am asking that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) deny the import permit for the recently auctioned Black Rhino hunt. The Black Rhino is a critically endangered species and, as with all rhinos, is severely threatened by illegal poaching.
Just 2013 nearly 1000 rhinos have been poached in neighboring South Africa, while half of all Rhinos poached in Namibia in the last eight years happened in 2013. These rhinos survive by simply living, not by sanctioned hunts sold to the highest bidder.
I believe the USFWS takes its responsibility to protect our most endangered species seriously, if not personally. Setting this dangerous precedent to open up the U.S. to the importation of endangered species body parts will bring consequences not only to the Black Rhino, but to all endangered species.
The United States Endangered Species Act is a powerful example of our country's leadership to preserve biodiversity and protect species. I'm asking you to not roll back our progress in conservation, or our commitment to species protection, by allowing trophy hunters to import their prizes from endangered species hunting trips.
The Endangered Species Act is about sound conservation and essential wildlife management, please do not water-down the Act's authority by allowing this Black Rhino Hunt to obtain an import permit.
Protect Endangered Species
The Dallas Safari Club recently auctioned off the right to hunt down an Endangered Black Rhino for $350,000. While the government of Namibia has granted this permit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) must grant an additional import permit in order for the hunter to bring home his "trophy".
In 2013 nearly 1000 rhinos have been poached in neighboring South Africa, while half of all Rhinos poached in Namibia in the last eight years happened in 2013. These rhinos survive by simply living, not by sanctioned hunts sold to the highest bidder.
The Dallas Safari Club claims that the reason to auction a permit to hunt and kill an endangered Black Rhino is to raise money for its conservation. $350,000 is without a doubt a substantial amount and will presumably benefit the continued conservation of the Black Rhino. However, the importing of the Black Rhino's head, and other body parts, in no way furthers the conservation of this species. In fact, allowing the importation doesn't simply allow a hunter to have an endangered trophy, it jeopardizes the strength of one of our country's crowning conservation achievements; the Endangered Species Act. Please sign the petition to the USFWS to reject the import permit for the Black Rhino hunt.