Leopards leap toward broader protection under Endangered Species Act

The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) 90-day finding has concluded that they will move forward on the listing of all leopards as endangered. PHOTO: © IFAW/B. HollwegThe US government responded favorably to a petition filed by IFAW and our partners to enhance the protections afforded to all leopards under US law.

Currently, leopard populations in southern Africa are categorized only as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act, while all others are listed as endangered. The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) 90-day finding concludes that further protections may be warranted, which means that the Service will proceed with considering endangered status and accompanying safeguards for these iconic animals.

Though leopards’ natural range does not include the US, Americans and our policymakers have a critical role to play in preserving wild populations. America is among the top importers of leopard parts and products, including hunting trophies. Extending endangered status to all leopards will demonstrate to the international community that the US—much like individual states that have restricted trade in leopard parts and products, including Oregon, Hawaii and Washington—is committed to doing its part to protect these disappearing animals and will set an example for others to do the same.

IFAW has long worked to protect wildlife from exploitation. We have had an active leadership role in ensuring that the USFWS takes action to restrict trophy hunting of imperiled species, including African lions and elephants, abroad.

As USFWS works to make its final decision on leopard ESA status, there will be an opportunity for you to weigh in and express your support for enhanced protections. Stay tuned for more on how you can make your voice heard for leopards.


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Jimmiel Mandima at IFAW
Deputy Vice President of Conservation
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
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Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime