WASHINGTON (April 7, 2017) – WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs John Calvelli issued the following statement:

“This week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee marked up a bill that would reauthorize the Multinational Species Conservation Funds (MSCF), a key program in the fight to save the world’s endangered species.

“I appreciate the Committee, and its chairman and ranking member, moving this bill to reauthorize the MSCF, which are administered through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The five programs that make up the MSCF are helping conserve some of the world’s most iconic species: elephants, rhinos, tigers, great apes, and marine turtles.

“The need for the MSCF program remains great.  Elephant populations are plummeting due to ivory trafficking, great apes populations are being decimated due to habitat destruction and bushmeat trade, and tigers currently occupy only seven percent of their historical range. Marine turtle species and rhinos continue to be poached and traded to the brink of extinction.

“The modest investment in the MSCF by the U.S. government is able to leverage support from partner governments, local NGOs, international conservation organizations, and private businesses, a better than 2-to-1 match of federal dollars. This program is a good investment of our tax dollars.

“I urge our friends in Congress to reauthorize and fully fund the MSCF programs to help these iconic species remain in the wild.”