Federal Issue Brief

 H.R. 1760, Great Ape Conservation Reauthorization Amendments Act of 2011

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AVMA Position:

Support

Summary:

Introduced by Congressman George Miller (CA-7th), H.R. 1760 would: 
  • Authorize appropriations to carry out the Great Ape Conservation Fund for FY2012-FY2017.
  • Amend the Great Ape Conservation Act of 2000 to allow the awarding of multi-year grants.
  • Require the Secretary of the Interior to convene a panel of experts to identify the greatest needs and priorities for the conservation of great apes.

Background:

  • The AVMA is a member of the Multinational Species Coalition that works to gain support for this and other Multinational Species Conservation Fund programs.
  • All species of great apes are threatened with extinction.
  • Great apes populations are negatively affected by deforestation, habitat loss, hunting, poaching, the bush meat trade, the illegal pet trade, and disease outbreaks.
  • Congress passed the Great Ape Conservation Act in 2000 which create the Great Ape Conservation Fund for conservation of gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, and gibbons.
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awards grants from the fund for activities and research related to infectious diseases, strengthening law enforcement, conservation education, safeguarding habitat and much more.
  • For more information go to: http://www.fws.gov/international/wildlife-without-borders/great-ape-conservation-fund.html

Justification:

  • Continued funding for this conservation program is a critical component in protecting endangered and threatened great ape species from further population reductions and facilitating their survival in their native habitats.
  • Allowing for the awarding of multi-year grants are essential for continuing and advancing conservation efforts.
  • In a hearing on Capitol Hill in front of the subcommittee of jurisdiction Primatologist Tara Stoinski, PhD, stated, ""The Great Ape Conservation Act is a proven formula that promotes cooperation among government entities, local communities, NGOs, and the private sector. It funds on-the-ground, rapid result initiatives that can be seen and felt by local people. This is essential because it is only through local action, local education, and local support that realistic solutions for saving the great apes can be devised and implemented."

Current Status:

  • House Committee on the Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs.
  • Legislative hearing held on July 28, 2011.

AVMA Contact:

Dr. Whitney Miller, Assistant Director, Governmental Relations Division, 202-289-3211