GATHER THE DATA, WORK FOR CHANGE
- Active: 2016
- Funder: Vulcan
- Program Area: Conservation
No elephants live or are being poached in the Pacific Northwest. Nevertheless, since 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has seized more than 50 shipments of elephant products in Washington state. Similarly, in other states around the country, weak penalties for illegal wildlife trafficking allow the “extinction economy” to go unchecked. Because of this, the best way to protect endangered wildlife globally is to eliminate illegal markets for products locally — by creating strong wildlife trafficking laws and severe penalties.
Initiative 1401 was a first-of-its-kind ballot measure in Washington, prohibiting the purchase, sale, and distribution of products made from 10 endangered animal species including elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, lion, leopard, cheetah, pangolin, marine turtle, shark, or ray. By working closely with partners from the nation’s leading conservation, education, and zoological organizations, and with support from grassroots donors across the United States, Vulcan was able to help get I-1401 passed (with more than 70% support) in November 2015.
This legislation is part of the worldwide movement to create stronger anti-trafficking laws at the local, state, federal, and global level where illegal markets often hide in plain sight within legal ones. Since I-1401, similar legislation has since been passed in Hawaii, Oregon, New York, and California.
: 96 Elephants, African Wildlife Foundation, Born Free USA, Conservation Northwest, Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Mainstream Republicans of Washington, Metro Parks Tacoma, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Seattle Aquarium, Sierra Club, WildAid, Washington Conservation Voters, Washington State Democrats, Woodland Park Zoo, The Zoo Society