East Hawaii News

Animal Protection Groups Commission Survey on Endangered Species Legislation

April 15, 2016, 3:02 PM HST
* Updated April 18, 7:50 AM
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elephant pixabayA recent research poll aimed to bring light to public opinion on endangered species products has concluded that 85 percent of Hawai’i residents polled would support legislation that would place a ban on the sale of products using endangered wildlife species.

Honua Consulting commissioned the opinion research poll on behalf of the Hawai’i Wildlife Coalition, which includes several groups, including Vulcan, a Paul Allen company, International Funds for Animal Welfare, Human Society International, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

QMark Research conducted the study of 505 Hawai’i residents polled through online and telephone methods.

Eighty percent of those surveyed were registered voters. Surveys were demographically proportional to the state’s population, with regard to age, sex, ethnicity, and geographical distribution. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 4.47 percentage points with a 95 percent confidence level.

“The results clearly indicate the overwhelming majority of the people of Hawai’i care deeply about iconic endangered wildlife species, not just here in Hawai’i, but also throughout the world,” said John F. Calvelli, executive vice president of public affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Societ. Their responses on the survey confirm that Hawai’i voters don’t want to see these incredible animals become extinct so their tusks, pelts, teeth, and bones can continue to be used as decorations.”

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Two out of every five of the participants in the survey, representing 39 percent, said they would support a ban on the sale of products made from endangered wildlife because they would like to see them protected.

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Another 25 percent said they were worried that the continued sale and trade of products made from endangered species would in time lead to their extinction.

“The results of this poll are unequivocal and consistent,” said Barbara Ankersmit, president of QMark Research. “The people we surveyed showed unusually strong feelings about this issue and continued to voice support for the legislation, even when provided with arguments that have been raised against it.”

Jeffrey Flocken, North American director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said that it was encouraging that those surveyed, which included gun owners and hunters, viewed the topic similarly to Hawai’i residents who were not.

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“The support from these groups was even slightly higher (87%) than that found among all those surveyed (85%),” said Flocken.

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