In some countries, collectors can still buy polar bear skin rugs, claws, skulls and other parts of these animals -- even as these beloved bears struggle for survival in a warming world.
The U.S. can strengthen protections for polar bears under international law by proposing to restrict trade in polar bear products -- a move that could save the lives of hundreds of bears each year. But officials need to hear from you.
Take action now -- Sign Defenders of Wildlife's petition to urge the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to propose an international ban on the trade of polar bear products.
Please take action today -- the deadline for comments is Friday, September 11th. Thank you!
To the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
As a Defenders of Wildlife supporter and someone who cares about polar bears and other wildlife, I am writing today to encourage the U.S. government to move forward with a proposal to provide more protections for polar bears through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
The move to uplist polar bears from CITES Appendix II to Appendix I would end the trade of polar bear parts and products (like bear skin rugs) for primarily commercial purposes, preventing the deaths of hundreds of these struggling animals every year.
Rising temperatures are already melting the sea ice habitat that polar bears depend on for survival. In fact, a recent study from the Technical University in Denmark indicates that the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free as early as 2015.
Polar bears are facing so many threats -- including oil and gas exploration, pollution, poaching and global warming -- that these amazing animals could disappear from the U.S. by mid-century.
The U.S. can and should take the lead in protecting these magnificent animals on the international front by submitting a proposal to the CITES Secretariat to uplist polar bears to Appendix I.
Thank you for your time.
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we signed: Help Stop the International Polar Bear Trade
The Obama administration and the Department of the Interior heard you loud and clear, and have agreed to propose an international ban on the trade of polar bear products.
According to Defenders of Wildlife, "The proposal would transfer the polar bear from CITES Appendix II, which allows regulated international commercial trade, to Appendix I, which prohibits all international commercial trade in the listed species. The purpose of CITES is to prevent over-exploitation of species through international trade.
The Appendix I designation would mean that countries agree to prohibit international trade for primarily commercial purposes and thus ensure that it will not contribute to the ongoing decrease in polar bear numbers. Appendix I listing will not affect native subsistence hunting or use of polar bears."
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