Close a Deadly Loophole, Protect Chimpanzees Everywhere

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Originally Posted: January 16, 2012

Close a Deadly Loophole, Protect Chimpanzees Everywhere

FROM Center for Biological Diversity

ACTION

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now considering whether to protect captive chimpanzees under the Endangered Species Act. Please submit comments in support of protecting every endangered chimpanzee, everywhere.

Sign an online petition:
http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/o/2167/t/5243/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=9060

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM
Arlington, VA 22203
phone (800) 344-WILD (9453)
Online web form: http://www.fws.gov/duspit/contactus.htm

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

Please speak up to protect chimpanzees who can't defend themselves. The worldwide population of wild chimpanzees has fallen by nearly 70 percent in the past 30 years.

Wild chimpanzees have been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1976, but a special rule exempting captive chimpanzees from protection is compromising conservation efforts. This loophole is preventing the recovery of the species in the wild by encouraging their illegal trade.

Chimpanzees are endangered everywhere due to habitat loss, poaching and illegal trafficking -- wild chimpanzees are captured and sold for use as entertainment, as pets and as test subjects. The loophole in the Act creates a vicious cycle of supply and demand: Chimpanzees are exploited for entertainment, giving people the misconception that the species is common in the wild, which creates a demand for pet chimpanzees, which in turn leads to more poaching.

The exemption in the United States also undermines international chimpanzee conservation efforts. African nations see the animals being commercially exploited in America and have little incentive to protect them in their home range.

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I am writing in support of protecting all chimpanzees, both captive and wild, as endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. Failing to protect captive chimpanzees as members of an endangered species is contributing to the species’ ongoing decline in the wild -- globally, wild chimpanzees have declined by nearly 70 percent in the past 30 years.

Allowing captive chimpanzees in the United States to be commercially exploited is encouraging poaching and black-market trade in Africa, hampering international conservation efforts and creating the public misconception that chimpanzees are common in the wild. The double standard of protecting only wild chimpanzees will continue to cause the species to decline.

Please protect all chimpanzees as endangered chimpanzees.

Thank you...


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