The proposed Up-listing of Hippopotamus under the Endangered Species Act
Posted On : May 1, 2023
Posted By : JM
The Up-listing of Hippopotamus under the Endangered Species Act and the Importance of Sustainable Hunting in Africa
The common hippopotamus had previously been up-listed to "vulnerable" status under the Endangered Species Act by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This decision has drawn attention to the importance of conservation efforts for this iconic species and highlights the crucial role that sustainable hunting plays in managing hippo populations throughout Africa.
Recently, the Humane Society of the US and the International Humane Society served notice on the USFWS that they intended to sue due to the USFWS’s lack of response due to a previous request to up-list hippopotamus from threatened to endangered on the US Endangered Species Act. This up-listing would make it much more difficult to import legally hunted hippo parts into the US.
While hippos are not currently threatened with extinction, their populations have declined due to various threats, including habitat loss, poaching, and climate change. Hippopotamuses are often hunted for their meat and ivory tusks, and uncontrolled hunting can have devastating effects on local populations. However, sustainable hippo hunting programs can help to manage hippo populations while also providing economic benefits to local communities. Hunting quotas are determined based on scientific data and population assessments, and hunting provides a valuable source of protein for many communities as well as income from tourism and hunting fees.
This is especially important as hippos can have a significant impact on local ecosystems. They are known as "engineers" of their environment, meaning that they play an essential role in shaping local ecosystems by creating waterholes and pathways for other animals to follow. By managing hippo populations, people can help ensure the continued health of local ecosystems.
Moreover, the up-listing of hippopotamus to "vulnerable" status under the Endangered Species Act will hopefully lead to increased conservation efforts for this species. This includes better tracking of hunting activities, improving enforcement of existing laws, and engaging local communities in conservation efforts. But making it more difficult to import legally hunted hippo parts is counter-productive to the recognized role that hippo hunting plays in the conservation of this species.
In conclusion, the up-listing of the hippopotamus under the Endangered Species Act and the importance of sustainable hunting programs highlight the critical role that responsible management plays in the survival of this iconic species. By continuing to learn about and engage with this species, we can work towards maintaining the health and sustainability of hippo populations and the ecosystems they help shape.