President Trump’s administration plans to let hunters import trophies of elephants they killed in two African nations back to the U.S., according to ABC News.
ABC on Thursday reported that the move reverses ban former President Barack Obama’s administration implemented in 2014.
A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) official on Thursday said that the agency has new information from officials in Zimbabwe and Zambia to support the change.
“Legal, well-regulated sport hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” the FWS spokesperson said in a statement.
Elephants are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and the alteration only applies to such animals killed in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
A provision in the act lets the federal government give permits to import animal trophies if there is evidence that the hunting truly benefits conservation for that species.
A notice regarding the change will get posted in the Federal Register on Friday with more details on what new information justifies the move.
The FWS spokesperson said that the finding applies to elephants hunted in Zimbabwe on or after January 21, 2016 to on or before December 31, 2018.
ABC’s source added that the information also covers elephants hunted in Zambia during 2016, 2017 and 2018 for applications that meet all other applicable permitting requirements.
The Great Elephant Census published last year reported that there are just over 350,000 on the animals across Africa.
The analysis also reported that savanna elephant populations declined by 30 percent across 18 nations on the continent from 2007 to 2014.
Zimbabwe contained roughly 82,000 elephants last year, according to the census, while Zambia housed approximately 22,000 during the same period.