Originally published on July 28, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: Vladimir Putin, President of Russia; Xi Jinping, President of China
Goal: Stop the poaching and logging practices that are driving Amur leopards into extinction
Only a couple dozen Amur leopards survive in the wildernesses of China and Russia. Illegal poaching and forest logging are threatening to kill the last remaining Amur leopards. Without help from the Chinese and Russian governments, these rare and beautiful creatures will rapidly become extinct.
Poachers primarily hunt Amur leopards for their spotted pelts. They also poach animals that the leopards need to hunt as prey. By killing off their food supply, the Amur leopards will eventually starve to death.
Forest logging has greatly reduced their natural habitats while driving out many of the prey species necessary to the Amur leopard’s survival. Decreasing the size of their habitats threatens the survival rate of critically endangered species. With food becoming increasingly more difficult to find, the Amur leopard will not have long to live.
By signing the petition below you will help urge the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the President of China, Xi Jinping, to stop these illegal poaching activities and unsustainable forest logging practices that continuously threaten the critically endangered Amur leopards in their countries.
Dear President Vladimir Putin and President Xi Jinping,
Illegal poaching and unsustainable deforestation in your countries are threatening the lives of the critically endangered Amur leopard. With only two dozen of them left in the wild, we must not hasten their demise by reducing their habitats and killing their food supply. They deserve a chance to live and repopulate without the fear of bulldozers or starvation.
Although both of you have taken steps to help the Amur leopard, we cannot ignore the ones still living in the wild. Threatened by poachers and logging companies, these leopards will not be able to survive much longer on their own. When poachers know they can sell an Amur leopard’s pelt for up to a thousand dollars, they have no incentive to stop hunting them.
Poachers are also responsible for killing the prey species that the Amur leopard needs to survive. Boars and deer are hunted for their meat and pelts, but the leopards hunt those animals for their source of food. A dwindling food supply will rapidly accelerate the leopards’ demise.
Ending deforestation in these regions will not only save the Amur leopards and their prey from extinction, it will also end up saving the lives of you and your fellow countrymen. The leopards require their habitat to survive, hunt, and prosper. We need the trees for the oxygen they provide. Cutting down more trees is detrimental to everyone in the end.
It is within your power to prevent these leopards from reaching immediate extinction. Put an end to illegal poaching and logging practices in your countries before it is too late for the Amur leopard.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Keven Law via Flickr