Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Lawsuit Launched to Push Trump Administration to Protect Giraffes From Extinction

Animals
Lawsuit Launched to Push Trump Administration to Protect Giraffes From Extinction
Pexels

Conservation groups Tuesday filed a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to respond to a legal petition to protect giraffes under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was required to respond to the April 2017 petition within 90 days, but nearly 17 months have passed with no finding.


"As giraffe populations plummet, the Trump administration won't even take the first step toward protecting these beautiful animals," said Tanya Sanerib, international program legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "Africa now has fewer giraffes than elephants, but the administration refuses to throw these imperiled creatures a lifeline. That has to change, before it's too late."

The 2017 petition—by the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International, Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Natural Resources Defense Council—seeks Endangered Species Act protection for giraffes, whose populations have plummeted nearly 40 percent over the past 30 years.

Just more than 97,000 giraffes remain in the wild, and the species is gravely imperiled by habitat loss, civil unrest, hunting for meat and the international trade in bone carvings, skins and trophies. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature elevated the threat level to giraffes from "least concern" to "vulnerable" on its "Red List of Threatened Species" in 2016.

Endangered Species Act protection would help curb imports of giraffe bones and other parts, increase funding for conservation efforts in Africa and raise public awareness of the animals' plight.

The U.S. provides a large market for giraffe parts. On average, the U.S. imports about one giraffe hunting trophy a day, and the country has imported more than 21,400 giraffe bone carvings over the past decade.

"Giraffe bones are becoming the new ivory, and the United States is heavily implicated in this deadly international trade," said Sanerib. "We're a big part of the problem, and Endangered Species Act protections for giraffes would help us be part of the solution."

Known for their six-foot-long necks, distinctive patterning and long eyelashes, giraffes have captured the human imagination for centuries. New research recently revealed that they live in complex societies, much like elephants, and have unique physiological traits, including the highest blood pressure of any land mammal.

U.S. returns create about 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. manonallard / Getty Images

Many people shop online for everything from clothes to appliances. If they do not like the product, they simply return it. But there's an environmental cost to returns.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Climate Envoy John Kerry (L) and President-elect Joseph (R) are seen during Kerry's ceremonial swearing in as Secretary of State on February 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong / Getty Images

By Dolf Gielen and Morgan Bazilian

John Kerry helped bring the world into the Paris climate agreement and expanded America's reputation as a climate leader. That reputation is now in tatters, and President-elect Joe Biden is asking Kerry to rebuild it again – this time as U.S. climate envoy.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Scientific integrity is key for protecting the field against attacks. sanjeri / Getty Images

By Maria Caffrey

As we approach the holidays I, like most people, have been reflecting on everything 2020 has given us (or taken away) while starting to look ahead to 2021.

Read More Show Less
A pair of bears perch atop Brooks Falls in Alaska's Katmai National Park, about 100 miles from the proposed Pebble Mine site. Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Environmental campaigners stressed the need for the incoming Biden White House to put in place permanent protections for Alaska's Bristol Bay after the Trump administration on Wednesday denied a permit for the proposed Pebble Mine that threatened "lasting harm to this phenomenally productive ecosystem" and death to the area's Indigenous culture.

Read More Show Less

OlgaMiltsova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Gwen Ranniger

In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.

Read More Show Less