Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Green Groups Sue to Get Giraffes on Endangered Species List

Animals
Green Groups Sue to Get Giraffes on Endangered Species List
Pexels

Four Animal welfare groups sued the Trump administration on Thursday for failing to protect Africa's vulnerable giraffes, Reuters reported.


The groups had petitioned Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to list giraffes under the Endangered Species Act in April 2017. The FWS is supposed to respond to such petitions within 90 days, but Trump's FWS did not, triggering the law suit.

"Giraffes capture our imaginations from childhood on, but many people don't realize how few are left in the wild," Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) International Legal Director Tanya Sanerib said in a press release. "Instead of throwing these unique animals a lifeline under the Endangered Species Act, Trump officials are twiddling their thumbs. Trump will be to blame if future generations know giraffes only as toys and not the long-necked icons of Africa."

The suit marks the 100th time the CBD has sued the Trump administration in an attempt to protect wildlife, public lands and the global climate from policies hostile to all three.

CBD is joined in the giraffe suit by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Humane Society International (HSI) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

"The United States cannot stand idly by and allow thousands of U.S. imports of giraffe parts every year without any regulation while these animals are on a path to extinction. It is time that the United States stands tall for giraffes and gives this at-risk species the protection that it urgently needs," HSUS Managing Wildlife attorney Anna Frostic said in the press release.

The number of giraffes in the wild has dropped almost 40 percent in the past 30 years, to the point where there are fewer than 100,000 left. The main threats they face are habitat loss, illegal hunting for meat and human fighting, but they are also vulnerable to a trade in skins, bone carvings and trophies. Despite this, the U.S. imports more than one giraffe hunting trophy a day and imported around 40,000 giraffe products between 2006 and 2015.

Listing giraffes as an endangered species would allow the U.S. to better regulate and curb the trophy trade, and free up funding to support conservation. The Trump administration, however, has put the desires of trophy hunters over the needs of endangered animals before. The same four conservation groups sued the Department of Interior in August because the International Wildlife Conservation Council that advises Zinke is filled with people who stand to benefit from expanded trophy hunting, CNN reported.

"The Trump administration would rather allow its rich donors to mount giraffe trophies on their walls than protect giraffes," NRDC Wildlife Trade Initiative Deputy Director Elly Pepper said in the CBD release. "Giraffes are headed toward extinction, in part due to our country's importation of giraffe parts and trophies. It's shameful—though unsurprising—that the Interior Department has refused to protect them under the Endangered Species Act and I hope the courts will agree."

This fall brings three new environmental movies. David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet | Official Trailer

This week marks the official start of fall, but longer nights and colder days can make it harder to spend time outdoors. Luckily, there are several inspiring environmental films that can be streamed at home.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice walk out and rally at the company's headquarters to demand that leaders take action on climate change in Seattle, Washington on Sept. 20, 2019. JASON REDMOND / AFP via Getty Images

The world's largest online retailer is making it slightly easier for customer to make eco-conscious choices.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Moms Clean Air Force members attend a press conference hosted by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announcing legislation to ban chlorpyrifos on July 25, 2017. Moms Clean Air Force

The Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a risk assessment for toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos Tuesday that downplayed its effects on children's brains and may be the first indication of how the administration's "secret science" policy could impact public health.

Read More Show Less
Evacuees wait to board a bus as they are evacuated by local and state government officials before the arrival of Hurricane Laura on August 26, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Maria Trimarchi and Sarah Gleim

If all the glaciers and ice caps on the planet melted, global sea level would rise by about 230 feet. That amount of water would flood nearly every coastal city around the world [source: U.S. Geological Survey]. Rising temperatures, melting arctic ice, drought, desertification and other catastrophic effects of climate change are not examples of future troubles — they are reality today. Climate change isn't just about the environment; its effects touch every part of our lives, from the stability of our governments and economies to our health and where we live.

Read More Show Less
In 'My Octopus Teacher,' Craig Foster becomes fascinated with an octopus and visits her for hundreds of days in a row. Netflix

In his latest documentary, My Octopus Teacher, free diver and filmmaker Craig Foster tells a unique story about his friendship and bond with an octopus in a kelp forest in Cape Town, South Africa. It's been labeled "the love story that we need right now" by The Cut.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch