Tell Congress: Help Save Vanishing Species

  • by: WWF
  • recipient: U.S. Congress

The Multinational Species Conservation Funds, run by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, play an important role in helping to protect the planet's remaining populations of elephants, rhinos, tigers, great apes and marine turtles.

To help boost these funds, Congress created the Save Vanishing Species Semipostal Stamp — commonly referred to as the "Tiger Stamp" — which lets consumers support these wildlife conservation programs every time they send a letter. Since the Tiger Stamp went on sale in 2011, more than 35 million have been sold, raising over $3.7 million for international conservation at no cost to US taxpayers. This great program will expire later this year unless Congress acts to renew it.

Ask your Members of Congress to cosponsor the Multinational Species Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act.

Dear Member of Congress,

Please sign on as a cosponsor of the Multinational Species Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act.

The five congressionally authorized Multinational Species Conservation Funds (MSCF) support programs to protect elephants, rhinos, tigers, great apes and marine turtles in their habitats around the globe. Administered by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, these highly effective programs are working to conserve some of the most threatened wildlife populations on the planet, including those hardest hit by the global poaching crisis. Last year's Great Elephant Census showed just 350,000 African savanna elephants remaining in 18 major range countries—a decline of 150,000 in just seven years. Rhino poaching remains dangerously high in several African countries, including in South Africa where poaching increased over 9000% from 2007 to 2015. Six of the seven marine turtle species are listed as endangered or threatened due to habitat loss, overfishing, and human exploitation for eggs and meat.

Congress currently provides a modest $11 million in annual appropriations for the five MSCF programs. To help boost these funds, in 2011 Congress created the Save Vanishing Species Semipostal Stamp—commonly referred to as the "Tiger Stamp". Sold at a premium, the stamp lets consumers support wildlife conservation every time they send a letter at no cost to the US taxpayer. So far, more than 35 million stamps have been sold raising over $3.7 million in voluntary contributions from the public. The program has enjoyed strong bipartisan support and was reauthorized by Congress in 2014 through the coming year. However, the stamp program will expire unless Congress acts again to reauthorize it in 2017.

Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tom Udall (D-NM) and Representatives Dan Donovan (R-NY) and William Lacy Clay (D-MO) have recently introduced bipartisan legislation to extend the Save Vanishing Species Stamp for four more years. I encourage you to sign on as a cosponsor of this legislation to ensure that the American public can continue to voluntarily support the Multinational Species Conservation Funds, which play such an important role in protecting our planet's amazing wildlife. I also urge you support continued strong funding for these program in appropriations for fiscal year 2018.

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