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Old March 16th, 2013
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Default Before the last elephant falls - 100 most endangered species

Every day, a long list of majestic creatures are cruelly slaughtered by poachers -- driving them closer to extinction. And they are killed to fuel violent syndicates getting rich on bogus goods -- elephant tusks become trinkets, rhino horns become fake sex remedies, and shark fins become soup. It is a global disgrace, and the sad truth is we’re losing this fight. But we know how to tip the balance to save these noble animals, before the last elephant falls.

Just days ago, Thailand’s Prime Minister promised to shut down her country’s ivory trade. Why? Because of us, Leonardo DiCaprio and our friends at WWF. When we heard she was hosting the UN summit on endangered species, we did what we do best -- we found a specific, doable demand that could have huge impact, and then weighed in all our people power behind a massive petition, combined with high-level advocacy and a barrage of social media. And we won!

This is just one of the many fights we are in to save endangered species -- we stopped a global proposal to legalise the whale slaughter, we are fighting a legal battle in South Africa to stop the lion bone trade, and in Europe we are in the final stretch of a huge campaign to save bees from pesticide annihilation! But for every battle, there are hundreds more animals facing extinction and time is running out. To truly win, we need to supercharge our team.

Never before has wildlife been so threatened by mankind. These lions, elephants, tigers and rhinos are the subject of ancient fables and tales, and now our generation is annihilating them. What we are doing is arrogant and sinister, and is a terrifying indication of a loss of our moral compass -- herds of elephants are executed with assault rifles for ivory, African lions are ground up to make bogus medicines, and thousands of sharks have their fins cut off while they’re alive. It's crazy! The UN estimates up to 200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal go extinct every 24 hours -- a rate faster than anything the world has seen since the vanishing of dinosaurs millions of years ago.

Taking on the poachers, smugglers, corporations and governments that drive so many species to extinction is no easy task. But these are battles we know how to fight -- and with just a handful more staff, here's an idea of what we could do:

Hard-hitting consumer campaigns across Asia -- the top destination for shark fins, elephant ivory and rhino horns -- with targeted billboard and social media ads
Show up to major summits and lobby elected leaders to make species survival a priority through stronger legislation and better enforcement of laws
Push lawmakers in key wildlife trade countries to close down legislative loopholes fueling the illegal trade, just like we did in Thailand

Publicly shame complicit officials and politicians with ads in countries where corruption is part of the cruel trade in animal parts
Win a legal battle and help stop the lion bone trade in South Africa
Pull out our whole gambit of winning strategies and tactics, from eye catching stunts to high-level advocacy, until we get a total ban on bee-killing pesticides

Some of these strategies have already worked with just 3 or 4 staff. If we now expand the Avaaz core team by just a handful, we can deploy winning campaigns and start turning the tide on global species extinction. Pledge to build our conservation team and save these amazing animals.

Thailand's Prime Minister commits to ending ivory trade

Survival of Species: Urgency to Crack Down on Illegal Wildlife Trade | TIME.com

EU vote on pesticides is bugged by complexities - Telegraph

Protect nature for world economic security, warns UN biodiversity chief | Environment | The Guardian

100 most endangered species: priceless or worthless? – in pictures (Guardian)
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