AWF, along with other conservation leaders, has long worked to pass U.S. legislation that would provide key funds to protect endangered great cats and dog species. These species are so critical because many other animals depend on them both directly and indirectly for survival. And now they need your help!
On April 30, the U.S. Congress will take up the Great Cats and Rare Canids Bill -- critical legislation to protect cheetahs, lions, wild dogs, and other great cats and endangered dog species. The bill will protect a total of 26 critically threatened species around the world.
This bill is especially critical to AWF, which works across Africa to keep critical species like the lion, African wild dog, and other big cat and rare canids from disappearing. Yet these species remain under siege, struggling against a combination of threats from habitat fragmentation and loss of prey to being poisoned or shot as livestock pests. In addition to their intrinsic value, each of these species plays a critical role in the ecosystems they inhabit. Without them, nature quickly tumbles out of balance.
Here are some startling statistics:
- Over the past 20 years, the number of lions in Africa has declined more than 75 percent.
- Cheetahs once ranged over most of Africa and parts of Asia; today fewer than 13,000 remain.
- The African wild dog is one of the continent’s most endangered animals, with fewer than 5,000 remaining in the wild.
- The Ethiopian wolf is estimated to have a global population of fewer than 500 adults.
AWF has responded with innovative programs in the African Heartlands -- large-landscape areas identified as critical to conservation. In the Heartlands, AWF is giving these predators a fighting chance through initiatives like the Large Carnivore Research Project near Chobe National Park and AWF's work at Tanzania’s Manyara Ranch.
A species saved in Africa, however, will not keep a species from disappearing somewhere else. Conservation efforts must reach across continents if the world's biodiversity is to be protected.
Act Now – Urge the U.S. Congress to Pass Key Legislation
As Congress takes up the Great Cats and Rare Canid Act, make your voice heard! Urge members of Congress to support and fully fund this act.
If passed, this bill will authorize the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to fund projects that protect 26 wild predators and their habitat from poaching, human encroachment, and other threats. Several of these species live in Africa, but many also live in Asia, the former Soviet Union, and Latin America – making this legislation truly global in scope.
You can reach members of Congress by calling +1-202-224-3121. If you would like to send a letter or email, you can find up-to-date contact information for each member of Congress by clicking here.
We urge you to act by May 1.