Land and Wildlife Issues

Initiatives to exploit fossil fuels, minerals, water, forests and other resources, as well as the expansion of cities and other developments are major sources of habitat loss for wildlife. Without a safe place to live, wildlife species will go extinct. Also threatening many wildlife species’ chances for survival are hunting and harassment–people kill animals for food, recreation and economic purposes. And in some cases, animals are killed for no good reason at all.

If you care about land and wildlife issues, here are some things you can do:

Strengthen the Endangered Species Act

Don’t support roadside zoos, animal circuses or the illegal wildlife pet trade

Strengthen the Endangered Species Act
ACT BY: November 30, 2019
This year the Trump Administration rolled back key parts of the landmark U.S. law that’s aimed at preventing the extinction of plant and animal species, known as the Endangered Species Act. This law, passed in 1973, has been successful at helping countless species recover from human threats like habitat loss, climate change and poaching. The Trump Administration’s rollbacks could reverse decades of conservation progress by making it more difficult to protect wildlife from these threats. In response to Trump’s actions, members of the House and Senate have introduced the “Protect America’s Wildlife and Fish in Need of Protection Act of 2019” (“PAW and FIN Act of 2019”), legislation that would repeal Trump’s rollbacks to the Endangered Species Act, restoring it to its pre-Trump strength. With the Earth now facing extinction at the fastest rate in human history, it’s important the U.S. does all it can to prevent animals and plants from disappearing. The U.S. can help set a positive example in conservation globally. The Endangered Species Act is an effective law—when effected full strength—that should be protected, not destroyed. Ask your Congressional representatives and senators to support the PAW and FIN Conservation Act of 2019 (H.B. 4348 and S. 2491)for the future of life on Earth. You can find your representatives here and your senators here.

Here is a sample letter to email to your representatives:

Dear [Representative ______],

As someone who cares deeply for our nation’s natural heritage, I am writing to request that you oppose legislation taking aim at the ESA – the world’s “gold standard” for conservation and protection of imperiled species.

Over the summer, the Trump administration made moves to change the way the Endangered Species Act is used. The rule rollbacks represent a fundamental attack on this cornerstone of conservation law, making it harder to protect wildlife from multiple threats, including habitat loss and climate change.

The Endangered Species Act is our nation’s most effective law for protecting wildlife in danger of extinction. It has prevented an astonishing 99 percent of species under its care from going extinct.

Beyond being among the most effective environmental laws, the Endangered Species Act is also popularly supported by the public, scientists and lawmakers.

In this time of mass extinction it’s more important now than ever before to make sure this law remains as effective as possible. Please do all you can to reverse Trump’s dangerous rollbacks to the Endangered Species Act.


[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]

Don’t support roadside zoos, animal circuses or the illegal wildlife pet trade
Wild animals belong in the wild. They do not belong in abusive roadside zoos or circuses as entertainment, or in homes as pets.

You can help wildlife. Here’s what to do:

  • Do not visit or support roadside, non-AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums)  or non-WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) zoos or aquariums. AZA accredited zoos are held to a higher standard of animal care, education efforts and conservation work.
  • Do not purchase “exotic” animals from pet stores. Many of these exotic animals (including fish and corals) are taken directly from the wild.
  • Support the movement of wild animals from unsuitable captive conditions into safe wildlife sanctuaries. The Safina Center stands by the work of The Whale Sanctuary Project, an organization founded by Safina Center Creative Affiliate Lori Marino that works to get captive cetaceans into humane seaside sanctuaries where they can live out their lives in more natural conditions.

(cover photo: Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. Parula Warbler. ©Carl Safina)