CITES CoP17: Open Public Comment Period
August 26, 2015: The Service has published a Federal Register notice requesting feedback on certain species proposals under consideration for submission to the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to CITES to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 24 – October 5, 2016. The notice will be open for public comment for 60 days. An extended version of this notice describes each recommended action, as well as those developed internally, and explains the rationale for United States' current thinking about submission of species proposals for CoP17. The Service will review and consider all comments received by October 26, 2015 before publishing a final rule. Please refer to the news release and Q&A for more information.
Service Director Lauds United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Illegal Wildlife Trafficking
August 03, 2015: Service Director Dan Ashe recently commended the United Nations General Assembly for adopting an important resolution on illegal wildlife trafficking. The resolution underscores the global commitment to the fight against the growing illegal wildlife trade and those who threaten the future of many of our planet’s species. Read the Director's Statement and the UN Resolution.
President Obama Announces Proposal to Tighten Controls on Domestic Ivory Trade
July 25, 2015: In response to a growing poaching crisis that is rapidly pushing populations of African elephants, rhinos and other species to the brink of extinction, President Obama today announced that the Service is proposing new regulations that will result in a near total ban on the domestic commercial trade of African elephant ivory. The proposed revisions to the African elephant rule under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) would prohibit most interstate commerce (sales across state lines) in African elephant ivory and would further restrict commercial exports. The proposed rule includes limited exceptions for antiques, as defined under the ESA, and certain pre-existing manufactured items such as musical instruments that contain less than 200 grams of ivory. The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, July 29 and will be open for public comment for 60 days. The Service will review and consider all comments received by September 28, 2015 before publishing a final rule. Please refer to the news release and Q&A for more information.
Service to Continue to Deny Access to Imported Elephant Trophies from Tanzania
July 10, 2015: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it will continue to deny import of African elephant sport-hunted trophies taken from Tanzania into the United States in 2015. The Service’s decision is based on the current situation on the ground in Tanzania, including questionable management practices, a lack of effective law enforcement, and weak governance, which have resulted in uncontrolled poaching and catastrophic population declines of African elephants.Please refer to the news bulletin and Q&A for additional information.
First Pangolin Range States Meeting Co-hosted by Vietnam and the United States
June 24-26, 2015: Delegates from African and Asian pangolin range countries joined together for the first time to develop a unified conservation action plan to protect pangolins at the First Pangolin Range States Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam. The governments of Vietnam and the United States co-hosted the meeting, which was organized and facilitated by Humane Society International. Learn more at the Humane Society International press release and the USFWS pangolin webpage.