Over 100 conservation groups, including Turtle Island Restoration Network, sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland calling for a secretarial order to establish a department wide approach to halt the extinction crisis and restore healthy wildlife populations. The groups called on Haaland to help protect biodiversity and restore abundant wildlife and plant populations.
“With over one million animal and plant species around the world facing extinction within the coming decades, the planet is facing troubling signs of loss,” said Todd Steiner, executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network.
The groups outlined steps for the proposed secretarial order that would support goals necessary to recover endangered species, rebuild wildlife populations, combat wildlife exploitation, and reduce threats to biodiversity, as well as support the Biden Administration’s initiative of protecting 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030.
These steps include:
- Restoring and protecting healthy ecosystems through creating new protected areas, expanding existing protected areas, and increasing connectivity between protected areas.
- Integrating climate change into endangered species recovery by requiring the Service to update or develop recovery plans that integrate greenhouse gas emissions reductions to avoid species extinctions.
- Recovering imperiled species through protecting all species listed under the Endangered Species Act and protecting critical habitat for any listed species, including for those that do not have any designation.
- Cracking down on global wildlife trade and reviewing all live wild mammals and birds that are traded to determine whether such species pose a disease risk or other threat to people or wildlife. If so, immediate steps should be taken to implement a ban on the trade in those species.
To read the letter in its entirety and more details: click here.