Trump backpedals on allowing hunting trophy imports from endangered species

US President Donald Trump has back-pedalled on his controversial hunting trophy ban reversal after immense international backlash.

"Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts," Mr Trump said in a Friday night (US time) tweet.

His tweet came less than 24 hours after the US announced the ban had been lifted, allowing Americans to hunt elephants and lions in Africa and bring trophies home.

The Fish and Wildlife Service Department of the US Government defended the move in an official statement on its website on Friday.

"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."

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke issued a statement following Mr Trump's tweet.

"President Trump and I have talked and both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical. As a result, in a manner compliant with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, the issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed," CNN reports.