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Save the Hippos: Urgent Action Needed to Protect this Majestic Species

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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Hippos are one of the most beloved and iconic animals in the world, but they are facing threats that could push them towards extinction. Sign the petition and call on the federal government to protect these animals!

Hippos are one of the most iconic and beloved animals in the world. But they are also facing a dire situation that could push them towards extinction. Despite a population decline in recent years, the United States continues to import hippo parts at an alarming rate. Between 2009 and 2018, the US imported over 9,000 hippo teeth, 5,700 skin pieces, and 1,700 carvings, making it the top importer of hippo parts in the world1.

The commercial trade in hippo parts is contributing to the decline of this majestic animal. However, this is not the only threat that hippos face. Habitat loss and degradation, drought, and poaching are all factors that could push the species towards extinction2. The need for federal protection is critical to saving hippos from disappearing from the planet.

The loss of habitat due to human activities, such as farming, logging, and urbanization, is one of the biggest threats to hippos. Hippos require large areas of wetlands, rivers, and lakes to survive. However, as these habitats are destroyed, hippos are left with fewer places to live, feed, and breed3.

Drought is another serious problem for hippos. As climate change causes more extreme weather events, such as prolonged droughts, hippos are at risk of losing their habitats and food sources4. This can lead to starvation and death.

Poaching is also a significant threat to hippos. Poachers hunt hippos for their meat, hides, and ivory teeth. The illegal trade in hippo parts is a lucrative business, and it has contributed to the decline of hippo populations in Africa5. This is why it is essential to ban commercial trade in hippo parts and provide funding and awareness to protect hippos from poaching.

Federal protection for hippos would be a significant step towards protecting this species from extinction. The Endangered Species Act (ESA)6 provides a framework for protecting endangered species and their habitats. Under the ESA, the US government can regulate and prohibit the trade of endangered species and their parts. This would prevent the importation of hippo parts into the US and reduce demand for this cruel trade7.

We must act now to save hippos from extinction and preserve the biodiversity and cultural heritage of our planet. Sign the petition, raise awareness about the need to conserve this iconic animal, and call on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to extend the ESA's critical protections to the common hippopotamus!

More on this issue:

  1. The Humane Society of the United States (15 February 2023), "Legal action launched to protect hippos under the Endangered Species Act."
  2. Rodi Rosensweig, The Humane Society of the United States/Humane Society International/Humane Society Legislative Fund, Tanya Sanerib, Center for Biological Diversity (24 March 2022), "U.S. Endangered Species Act Protection Sought for Hippos."
  3. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (2021), "Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) & Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choerpsis liberiensis) Fact Sheet: Population & Conservation Status."
  4. Science Daily (8 June 2016), "Hippos in search of the last suitable water pools."
  5. Fred Pearce, New Scientist (29 August 2003), "Poaching causes hippo population crash."
  6. United States Environmental Protection Agency (12 September 2022), "Summary of the Endangered Species Act."
  7. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (28 December 1973), "Endangered Species Act."
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The Petition:

To the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service,

We, the undersigned, are calling on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to take immediate action to protect the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) by listing the species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

The common hippopotamus is a majestic and iconic animal that has long been revered in cultures throughout Africa. However, the species is now facing a range of threats that could push it towards extinction. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the common hippopotamus is now considered vulnerable due to habitat loss, poaching, and climate change.

Between 2009 and 2018, the United States was the top importer of hippopotamus parts, including teeth, skin pieces, and carvings. This commercial trade puts additional pressure on an already vulnerable species and threatens to accelerate population declines. By listing the common hippopotamus as endangered, the species will receive federal protection and a ban on commercial trade that will help reduce the demand for hippopotamus parts.

In addition to commercial trade, habitat loss and degradation are major threats to the common hippopotamus. Human activities such as farming, dam construction, and logging are leading to the destruction of critical hippopotamus habitats. Climate change is also exacerbating the problem by increasing drought and reducing water availability. Listing the species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act will provide awareness and funding to curb these threats and support habitat conservation efforts.

The common hippopotamus is an important species that plays a critical role in its ecosystem. Protecting this species is not only important for its own survival, but for the health and stability of the entire ecosystem. We urge the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to take immediate action to list the common hippopotamus as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and protect this magnificent animal from the brink of extinction.


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