In addition to the recent events regarding hunted elephant and lion trophy imports, Secretary Ryan Zinke has announced the intent to establish an 'International Wildlife Conservation Council' within the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Although in the guise of wildlife conservation, this advisory council will have the authority to make recommendations which could be of significant negative impact regarding trophy hunting, importation of internationally hunted wildlife and trade laws, poaching, illegal wildlife trafficking, and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Studies show that trophy hunting is not an efficient form of wildlife or land conservation, accounting for 0.03% of US Gross Domestic Product(1) and less than 2% of tourism revenues in Africa, with the majority of nature tourism being related to non-hunting activity.(2)
Studies reveal that trophy hunting revenues fail to reach rural communities, which ultimately lands in the hands of commercial outfitters, government agencies, and stakeholders of the trophy hunting industry.(2)
However, the council will specifically advise on recommendations to remove US trophy hunting importation bans, resume trade of those items and increase public awareness regarding the so-called economic and conservation benefits of international hunting.
The USFWS is accepting public comments until Nov. 24th regarding this establishment.
1. Submit Comment Via Quick Link
Follow this link to submit a comment via Animal Welfare Institute
2. FOR MORE IMPACT: Submit Comment Directly to USFWS
Subject: Opposed To: International Wildlife Conservation Council
Salutation: To Joshua Winchell, USFWS
Body: Briefly explain why you're opposed to the establishment of the International Wildlife Conservation Council.
Example: "With trophy hunting accounting for less than 0.03% of US Gross Domestic Product and less than 2% of tourism revenues in Africa, I find that the establishment of an International Wildlife Conservation Council, with the goal to increase public awareness regarding the economic and conservation benefits of international hunting, to be disturbingly misleading.
With the majority of nature tourism being related to non-hunting activity, I find it is in our best interest to promote those non-hunting activities, from a national and international wildlife and land conservation, and economic perspective.
Any efforts or recommendations to increase international hunting/trophy hunting and importation or trade of such trophies or items will be counterproductive, promote unnecessary and unsustainable killing of wildlife and destruction of ecosystems, only to benefit elitist and minority trophy hunting organizations.
I kindly urge you to relinquish your plans to establish the International Wildlife Conservation Council.
Thank you for your consideration,"
Signature: Provide your name and address (phone number is optional)
Trophy Hunting - Learn More Here
Official US Federal Register Notice (Council Details) - Here
(1) 'The lion’s share? On the economic benefits of trophy hunting', Dr Cameron K. Murray, Economists at Large
(2) 'The $200 million question: How much does trophy hunting really contribute to African communities?', Roderick Campbell, Economists at Large
Image Source: Fish Eagle Safaris (Photo of Xanda, son of Cecil the lion, both killed by trophy hunters)