Welcome to the new site for Endangered Species Protection Fund, a 501c3 non-profit based near Seattle, WA. ESPFund was started with a simple idea: to create a way for all of us to help endangered species in a tangible, effective way. We collect equipment (see our Programs page) and high quality outdoor gear and send it to the front lines where poorly funded anti-poaching patrols can use the gear to combat poachers. The resurgence of poaching of African elephants and rhinos has reached horrific levels, such that these species will become extinct in our lifetime if we do not come together and fight back right now.
There are many conservation groups doing wonderful work to help elephants, rhinos, tigers, sharks, and many other species. The fight has been ongoing and will continue until a collective change of attitude by humans toward our environment happens on a global scale. ESPFund’s goals are simple, but not easy: to reduce demand for ivory and rhino horn, and to increase protection of earth’s last elephants and rhinos. We leverage the collective power of the progressive, forward-thinking people of the world to bolster the protection of elephants and rhinos in key parts of Africa. We may not be able to stop all poaching of these species, but we will stop all poaching in key areas, creating a model of protection and conservation that can be duplicated elsewhere.
We are a small, efficient, transparent, and highly motivated group. We are professionals in our chosen fields and volunteers at ESPFund. ESPFund does not spread itself thinly across multiple endeavors. We exist to stop the extinction of elephants. All donations go straight to the field to support the communities that are working hard and risking lives to protect their wild animals.
African elephants and rhinos, and many other animals of the world, are under the siege of an unprecedented spike in illegal poaching, threatening to overturn decades of conservation gains. Ivory seizures in the past two years have been higher than at any time ever since poaching levels have been tracked. African elephants are believed to number LESS THAN 300,000 (they were over 1 million in the 1980’s). Wild tigers are believed to number LESS THAN 3500 WORLDWIDE. The extinction of black rhinos is just around the corner, and under present circumstances we will see the extinction of these species in our lifetime.
Wildlife crime is a massive big money industry run by unscrupulous international networks. Wild animals and animal parts are trafficked like illegal drugs and guns, often together and by the same people. It’s a problem of national security for many countries, which is why the US State Department has finally entered the fray and is looking at ways to help end the trade in endangered species. Experts at TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, estimate the market value of the illegal wildlife trade to be hundreds of millions (and possibly billions) of dollars.
Many examples of the trade are well known, such as poaching of rhinos for their horns and tigers for their skins and bones. But countless other species of animals and plants are similarly dwindling, from marine turtles to Indonesian mahogany. Not all wildlife trade is illegal. But typically that is only because laws and governments are behind the curve and all too often take a reactionary stance when it is too late.
Wouldn’t it be great to stop this? Each of us can choose our motive. Whether it is to help animals because you like them, or because you oppose criminals profiting from the death of another being. Or you feel your kids will be robbed of the experience of seeing a wild rhino or tiger. Or you understand that biodiversity helps humans have a better environment and higher quality of life. Because you believe that we as a species will fail to be good stewards of our own habitat if we let other species disappear. Or because you like a good fight and want to give endangered animals a fighting chance.
You can help endangered animals by making a donation of gear or monetary funds. 100% of all donations goes straight to the front lines for field support of the anti-poachers on the ground in Africa.
ESPFund is a group of professionals from the Seattle area who are dedicated to stopping the illegal wildlife trade. Please stay tuned for more details on this site.