In a recent poll by the Center for Biological Diversity:
61 percent of Americans said they are concerned about the rate that wildlife are disappearing.
2 out of 3 Americans believe Congress should strengthen, or not make any changes to the Endangered Species Act.
Half of those polled think the country is doing too little to protect imperiled plants and animals, and that too many species are being pushed to the brink of extinction.
Much of this recent attitude has to be credited to President Obama’s executive order to combat wildlife trafficking.
Timeline in Rhino & Elephant Crisis Awareness in the US
- May 2013- Miss USA, South African born Nana Meriwether, advocates for the plight of the rhino.
- Jul 2013- President Obama announced the Executive Order to combat wildlife trafficking
- Sept 2013-March for Elephants released the Elephant in Times Square billboard, educating thousands of Americans on the poaching crisis.
- Sept 2013- Animal Planet’s Battleground Rhino Wars aired in the US, introducing many to the rhino poaching crisis for the first time.
- Sept 2013- US Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Southern White Rhino as threatened.
- Mar 2014- US philanthropist Howard Buffet gave a generous 24 million donation to fight rhino poaching in Kruger National Park.
- Jun 2014- New York passes historic ban on elephant ivory and rhino horn sales (with 80% of New Yorkers in favor of the ban)
Of course the US still has a way to go, but for a country who at one point was the second largest ivory market to enact a ban in its most populated state, it’s certainly nothing to scoff at. This victory will set the precedence for the rest of the nation.
Additionally, if the latest backlash against well-known hunters Melissa Bachman, Corey Knowlton, and Kendall Jones is any indication, momentum is leading toward a ban against trophy imports as well.
Please take a moment to thank the President and ask him to stand strong against those who oppose the ivory ban. President Obama: Keep Fighting Poaching