Last fall, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it is considering a petition to list the African lion as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) after a petition was filed by animal rights and anti-hunting organizations. On Monday, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF) filed comments opposing listing the lion under the ESA.
If listed under the ESA, African lions would be significantly and negatively impacted by the loss of revenue generated by Americans.
“American hunters play the key role in the conservation of African lions, said Evan Heusinkveld, USSAF Director of Government Affairs. “A sustainable use strategy is a model that has worked well for many species across Africa – and continues to work well today.”
Many African countries and local communities do not have the financial resources for lion conservation efforts. American hunters, through sustainable use hunting programs, provide much needed conservation dollars for lion populations. These dollars are vital to preserve lion habits from agricultural expansion and other development and vital to prevent illegal poaching, which are both major threats to African lion populations.
Listing the African lion under the ESA would severely undercut lion conservation efforts.
“This is nothing more than your typical anti-hunting organizations pushing to have the African lion granted unwarranted protections,” said Heusinkveld. “Hunting provides the economic incentive for local communities to protect lion habitats, to refrain from retaliatory killings to protect livestock, and to enforce laws against illegal poaching. This petition is simply a blanket approach that would only serve to hurt thriving lion populations.”
The anti-hunting groups pushing the lion listing include: the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International, the Born Free Foundation/Born Free USA, the Defenders of Wildlife, and the Fund for Animals.
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The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance (USSA) provides direct lobbying and grassroots coalition support to protect and advance the rights of hunters, trappers, anglers, and scientific wildlife management professionals... Read More.