WASHINGTON STATE PASSES INITIATIVE 1401
Thank you for joining us and voting YES on Initiative 1401! Together, we made history.
Washington state voters should be proud of passing I-1401. The new Washington state law established by the initiative will strengthen state penalties against the illegal sales of products made from endangered animals, like elephant ivory trinkets, clothing made from marine turtles and rhino horn trophies.
Support for I-1401 was overwhelming. It passed with over 70% of the statewide vote!
The ten animals groups listed in I-1401—tigers, rhinos, elephants, lions, cheetahs, leopards, pangolins, marine turtles, sharks and rays— represent the most illegally trafficked animals in the world. Not coincidentally, these animal groups are also nearing extinction at an astounding rate. This law will make a difference: the U.S. has one of the largest markets for illegally trafficked items made from these animals.
Trafficking endangered species products will soon be a business of the past. Over time, these laws will pass state-by-state, until the U.S. is closed for good to this illegal market. Passing this law here in Washington, a major port state, is an excellent start that told the entire country that Washingtonians are serious about conservation.
What’s next? We keep fighting, as there is much more work to be done. But for just a moment, we can celebrate this history-making win!
Pangolin: Boniface Osujaki/Tarangire Elephant Project, a Woodland Park Zoo Partner for Wildlife.
African elephant: Peter Steward via Flickr
Malayan tiger: Razak Abu Bakar via Flickr
Rhino: Jim Frost via Flickr
In the Field: Woodland Park Zoo Conservation Projects
Ruaha Conservation Project
Human-carnivore conflict in Tanzania’s Saharan Ruaha landscape is a main driving force of poaching of lions, leopards, cheetahs and other carnivores. The Ruaha Conservation Project collects crucial information about carnivore populations in the region and works to mitigate human-carnivore conflict.
WPZ-Panthera Tiger Conservation Project
Woodland Park Zoo and Panthera, a global wild cat conservation organization, have established a 10-year, $1 million project to support tiger conservation in peninsular Malaysia. The 300 remaining Malayan Tigers face heavy poaching and accelerating habitat loss; this important project gives them a chance at survival by training rangers to monitor tigers and improve anti-poaching patrols.
Hutan Asian Elephant Conservation Project
Tarangire Elephant Project
Both Asian and African elephants are critically endangered. In Borneo, Woodland Park Zoo helps fund the Hutan Asian Elephant Conservation Project which fights poaching by improving human-elephant interactions through tracking elephants and discouraging raids on agricultural land. In Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park and surrounding region, Woodland Park Zoo supports land conservation to maintain crucial wildlife migration corridors used by elephants and other species in their constant searches for food and mates.
Snow Leopard Trust
Started by late Woodland Park Zoo staff member Helen Freeman in 1981, the Snow Leopard Trust is a pioneer in community-based conservation. In addition to tracking these rare, elusive cats, the Trust works with local communities in Mongolia to improve the livelihoods of people living in snow leopard habitat, which helps alleviate poaching. Between offices in China, India, Mongolia, Kyzrgystan and Pakistan, the Trust covers more than 80% of snow leopards and their habitat.
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