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105th Congress Report
2d Session HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 105-455
RHINOCEROS AND TIGER CONSERVATION REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 1998
March 19, 1998.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 3113]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill
(H.R. 3113) to reauthorize the Rhinoceros and Tiger
Conservation Act of 1994, having considered the same, report
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill
Purpose of the Bill
The purpose of H.R. 3113 is to reauthorize the Rhinoceros
and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994.
Background and Need for Legislation
During the 103rd Congress, the Rhinoceros and Tiger
Conservation Act was enacted in an effort to help conserve the
dwindling populations of rhinos and tigers living in the wild.
While these species had once been prolific throughout Asia and
Africa, during the past two decades they have suffered a
tremendous population decline because of competition for land,
human population growth, loss of habitat, and poaching. This
occurred despite the fact that all populations of rhinoceros
and tiger have been listed as endangered in the United States
and by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since the mid-1970s.
At this time, it is estimated that there are about 11,000
rhinos left in the wild. This is a significant decrease from
the 65,000 rhinos in 1970. Of the five species of rhinoceros--
black, white, Indian, Javan, and Sumatran--only the population
of white rhinos shows any sign that it has stabilized or may be
increasing in numbers in Southern Africa.
In 1987, the members of CITES voted to extend its worldwide
ban on rhinoceros horn, urged the destruction of any
stockpiles, and instructed all countries to stop all trade in
rhino products. This international edict has been largely
ignored. Rhino horn is still consumed as a pain medication in
powdered form in China, Taiwan, and Korea; and it is used as
decorative handles for ceremonial daggers in Yemen. As the
population of rhinos has declined, the price of rhino horn has
skyrocketed. In fact, African rhino horn can be worth as much
as $10,000 per kilogram and the rarer Asian rhino horn up to
$60,000 per kilogram.
In terms of tigers, the likelihood of their long-term
survival is even more bleak. In fact, three subspecies Bali,
Caspian, and Javan are already extinct and a fourth
subspecies--South China--is on the brink of extinction with a
population of only about 20 animals. According to the Cat
Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union, there are
only about 5,000 tigers living in the wild. This is a massive
decline from the 100,000 tigers that existed at the turn of the
Nearly 60 percent of the world's surviving tigers, or about
3,750 animals, live in 21 forest reserves in India. However,
despite strict government protection, about one tiger is killed
every day in India.
Although agricultural and commercial logging have destroyed
large amounts of tiger habitat, illegal hunting or poaching has
had the most dramatic impact. Tigers are killed for their fur
and most body parts. Tiger bone has been an ingredient in
traditional Chinese medicines since at least 500 A.D. and its
use is firmly established in several Asian cultures. In
addition, traditional uses have been identified for almost
every tiger body part, and tiger meat is considered a delicacy
by some Chinese.
Tiger bone powders, wines, and tablets are used to combat
pain, kidney and liver problems, rheumatism, convulsions, and
heart conditions. In 1991, one-third of the world's Siberian
tigers were killed to satisfy the demand for their bones and
other parts. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a
tiger pelt can be worth up to $15,000 and tiger bones can sell
for over $1,400 per pound.
Most of the illegal trade in tiger parts occurs within the
Asian continent. Burma, Cambodia, India, Laos, the Peoples
Republic of China, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam
have all been identified as having serious poaching and
consumption problems. In fact, according to CITES, South Korea
has imported 10,500 pounds of tiger bone in the last six years.
During the same period, China has reportedly exported more than
78 tons of tiger bones, which represents about 5,600 tigers--
more than what may be alive today.
In an effort to try to stop poaching and conserve
endangered rhinos and tigers, Congress enacted the Rhinoceros
and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994. This landmark legislation,
Public Law 103-391, established the Rhinoceros and Tiger
Conservation Fund and authorized the Congress to appropriate up
to $10 million each year for conservation projects approved by
the Secretary of the Interior. This Fund is authorized until
September 30, 2000.
The 1994 law establishes specific criteria that each
project must satisfy to qualify for Federal assistance, limits
the amount of administrative costs to three percent of the
Fund, gives priority to those projects that demonstrate an
ability to match or exceed the amount of grant money with
private funds, and allows individuals to donate money directly
to the Fund to assist in the conservation of rhinos and tigers.
Since its enactment, Congress has appropriated $1 million
to the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund. The Department
of the Interior has funded 31 conservation projects to assist
rhinos and tigers at a Federal cost of about $585,000.
To date, the Service has funded 16 rhino projects, 7 tiger
projects, and 8 projects that will benefit both species. These
projects have included: an adopt-a-warden program in Indonesia;
aerial monitoring of the Northern white rhinoceros in Zaire;
establishment of a community rhino scout program for the
survival of the black rhino populations in Kenya; investigation
of poaching and illegal trade in wild tigers in India; a tiger
community education program in Indonesia; and training of staff
and surveys of four black rhino populations in the Selous Game
Reserve in Tanzania. The sponsors of these projects, who are
likely to match the grants with private funds, include the
Friends of Conservation, African Rhino Specialist Group,
International Rhino Foundation, the Minnesota Zoo Foundation,
Wildlife Protection Society of India, and WWF.
Based on the success of the African Elephant Conservation
Fund, the hope is that these grants will make a positive
difference in the international fight to conserve rhinos and
H.R. 3113 was introduced by the Chairman of the Resources
Committee, Congressman Don Young (R-AK), on January 27, 1998,
and referred to the Committee on Resources. Within the
Committee, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on
Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans. The fundamental
goal of H.R. 3113 is to extend the authorization of the
Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund until September 30,
On February 5, 1998, the Subcommittee on Fisheries
Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans conducted a hearing on H.R.
3113. Testimony was heard from the Honorable Bruce Babbitt,
Secretary, Department of the Interior; Dr. Terry Maple,
President and CEO, Zoo Atlanta; Ms. Kathryn Fuller, President,
WWF; Ms. Dorene Bolze, Senior Policy Analyst, Wildlife
Conservation Society; Dr. John Seidensticker, Curator of
Mammals, National Zoological Park; Mr. Richard M. Parsons,
Director, Department of Wildlife Conservation and Governmental
Affairs, Safari Club International; and Dr. Thomas Foose,
Program Director, International Rhino Foundation. In his
testimony, Secretary Babbitt stated that ``the Rhinoceros and
Tiger Conservation Fund has gotten off to an excellent start
over the past three years. The job has only just begun,
however. There is much work to do and no shortage of committed
partners seeking our help in Africa and Asia.'' At the same
hearing, Dr. Terry Maple said that ``like the African Elephant
Conservation Fund, this Fund is designed to be a `quick-strike'
in assisting conservation organizations on the front lines of
saving these animals from extinction.'' Finally, Ms. Kathryn S.
Fuller testified that ``funding from the Rhinoceros and Tiger
Conservation Fund is a critical complement to the support
already coming for rhino conservation from other private and
On February 12, 1998, the Subcommittee on Fisheries
Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans considered H.R. 3113 in a
markup session and ordered it favorably reported, without
amendment, to the full Committee on Resources by voice vote. On
March 11, 1998, the full Resources Committee met to consider
H.R. 3113. No amendments were offered and the bill was ordered
favorably reported to the House of Representatives by voice
Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations
With respect to the requirements of clause 2(l)(3) of rule
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and clause
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives,
the Committee on Resources' oversight findings and
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.
Constitutional Authority Statement
Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United
States grants Congress the authority to enact H.R. 3113.
Cost of the Legislation
Clause 7(a) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the
Committee of the costs which would be incurred in carrying out
H.R. 3113. However, clause 7(d) of that rule provides that this
requirement does not apply when the Committee has included in
its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office
under section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
Compliance With House Rule XI
1. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(B) of
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, H.R.
3113 does not contain new budget authority, spending authority,
credit authority, or an increase or decrease in revenues or tax
2. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(D) of
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 3113.
3. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(C) of
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and
section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R.
3113 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, March 16, 1998.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3113, the
Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Reauthorization Act of 1998.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
James L. Blum
(For June E. O'Neill, Director).
H.R. 3113--Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Reauthorization Act of
Summary: H.R. 3113 would reauthorize, through fiscal year
2004, annual appropriations to the Rhinoceros and Tiger
Conservation Fund at the existing authorization level of up to
$10 million. the current authorizations expire after fiscal
year 2000. The Secretary of the Interior uses this fund
primarily to help finance research and conservation programs
overseas. From its inception in 1994, the fund has received
appropriations totaling $1 million.
Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO
estimates that enacting H.R. 3113 would result in additional
discretionary spending of $12 million over the 2001-2003
period. The legislation would not affect direct spending or
receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
H.R. 3113 does not contain any intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
of 1995 (UMRA), and would have no impact on the budgets of
state, local, or tribal governments.
Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The
authorizations specified by the bill are the same as the
current authorization level but are significantly higher than
the $200,000 to $400,000 that has been appropriated in each of
the last few years. For purposes of this estimate, CBO assumes
that the entire amounts authorized by H.R. 3113 would be
appropriated for each fiscal year through 2004. Outlay
estimates are based on historical spending patterns for this
program. The estimated budgetary impact of H.R. 3113 is shown
in the following table. The costs of this legislation fall
within budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).
By fiscal years, in millions of dollars--
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
Spending Under Current Law:
Authorization Level \1\............................... (\2\) 10 10 0 0 0
Estimated Outlays..................................... (\2\) 1 4 6 6 3
Estimated Authorization Level......................... 0 0 0 10 10 10
Estimated Outlays..................................... 0 0 0 1 4 7
Spending Under U.S. 3113:
Estimated Authorization Level \1\..................... (\2\) 10 10 10 10 10
Estimated Outlays..................................... (\2\) 1 4 7 10 10
\1\ The 1998 level is the amount appropriated for that year. The 1999 and 2000 levels are the amounts authorized
under current law.
\2\ Less than $500,000
Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 3113
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as
defined in UMRA and would have no impact on the budgets of
state, local, or tribal governments.
Estimate prepared by: Deborah Reis.
Estimate approved by: Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
Compliance With Public Law 104-4
H.R. 3113 contains no unfunded mandates.
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported
In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is
proposed is shown in roman):
SECTION 7 OF THE RHINOCEROS AND TIGER CONSERVATION ACT OF 1994
SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Fund
$100,000,000 for each of [fiscal years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999,
and 2000] fiscal years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and
2004 to carry out this Act, to remain available until expended.