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On World Wildlife Day, Huffman, Buchanan Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Address World Extinction Crisis

March 03, 2021

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) recognized World Wildlife Day by re-introducing the Critically Endangered Animals Conservation Act, a bipartisan bill to support conservation efforts for highly endangered species around the world.

“The alarming acceleration in species extinction has serious consequences not only for ecosystems and wildlife, but for our economies, communities, and the future generations that will be robbed of the rich biodiversity and species we depend on today,” said Rep. Huffman. “Our bill will bring the U.S. back as a partner on the global stage to reverse the extinction crisis and support conservation projects for the world’s most vulnerable species. This is a moral and economic imperative that we cannot ignore.”

“Allowing a species to become extinct is a tragedy we should do everything in our power to prevent. This important bill will support vital conservation projects around the world and help save some of the world’s most threatened animals. The competitive grant program created by this bill will ensure that every dollar goes towards worthwhile projects that protect endangered wildlife,” said Rep. Buchanan.

This legislation would establish funding for the Critically Endangered Animals Conservation Fund, to be administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the successful Multinational Species Conservation Funds. This bill will re-inject U.S. support into the global fight to conserve thousands of the world’s most vulnerable species, such as snow leopards, Andean cats, African penguins, the white-backed vulture, and countless others that need active help to prevent further loss in the wild.

Specifically, the bill:

  • Establishes the Critically Endangered Animals Conservation Fund.
  • Authorizes $5 million per year for FY2022 through 2027 (matches the other Fish and Wildlife Services Multinational Species Funds).
  • Focuses on IUCN Red-list species (critically endangered or endangered), not including species already covered by other multinational species funds.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, more than 32,000 of 120,000 evaluated species are threatened with extinction. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services recently published a report, written by more than 550 leading experts from over 100 countries, which concluded that biodiversity is declining at unprecedented rates and that a global response is needed to reverse this trend.

Text of the bill can be found here.

In addition to Reps. Huffman and Buchanan, the legislation is being introduced by a bipartisan group of cosponsors including Representatives Julia Brownley (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Don Beyer (D-VA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Ed Case (D-HI), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).

This bill is supported by: African Wildlife Foundation, Animal Welfare Institute, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Bonobo Conservation Initiative, Born Free USA, Cheetah Conservation Fund, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Environmental Investigation Agency, Humane Society International, Humane Society Legislative Fund, The Humane Society of the United States, International Crane Foundation, International Elephant Foundation, International Fund for Animal Welfare, International Rhino Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Rare Species Fund, Wild Earth Allies, and Wildlife Conservation Society.

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Congressman Jared Huffman represents California’s 2nd Congressional District, which spans the North Coast of the state from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border, and includes Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, and Del Norte counties. He currently serves on the Committee on Natural Resources, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. In the 117th Congress, he chairs the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. He is the founder of the Congressional Freethought Caucus.

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