WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) introduced bipartisan legislation to help protect wild felid and canid species, including the jaguar, snow leopard, African wild dog and African lion. The Rare Cats and Canids Act authorizes up to $5,000,000 per year to help fund conservation programs in nations within the range of rare species natural habitats.
“Rare cats and canids are among the most majestic creatures on earth,” said Rep. Grijalva. “Sadly, many of these species are increasingly imperiled and in need of protection. The bill I introduced today will help ensure these natural treasures are not lost forever from their natural habitats, and I urge my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to join me in supporting this initiative.”
Of the 37 wild felid species worldwide, all but three are currently recognized as species in need of protection under federal or international law. Of the 36 wild canid species worldwide, 20 are recognized as being in need of protection.
The Rare Cats and Canids Act has significant support from conservation and environmental groups, including Born Free USA, San Diego Zoo Global, Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Wildlife Conservation Network, Center for Biological Diversity, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Defenders of Wildlife, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Panthera, SPECIES, Clouded Leopard Project, Point Defiance Zoo and Snow Leopard Conservancy.