Lockdown sees rise in poaching

Lockdown has brought with it a mixed impact for wildlife. We recently spoke about the wildlife sightings that had been reported by locals, showing different species of wildlife enjoying the time of peace and quiet resulting from everyone being forced to stay inside; but it seems that this sadly has not been the common trend throughout.

With reduced funding and staff numbers meaning fewer law enforcement authorities to protect wildlife, countries across Asia have seen a spike in poaching. From tigers to leopards, conservationists have been concerned by the numbers of animals being found caught in snare traps.

When lockdown began, many people were unable to continue working and as such families lost vital sources of income. As is common in African countries, when workers are suddenly unable to provide for their families they must resort to drastic measures. In this case, poaching of wildlife can provide food or money if the animal’s skin, fur or meat can be sold.

For many families returning to home villages following redundancy, forest resources are the simplest form of sustenance which has led to an increase in illegal hunting and without proper funding, anti-poaching authorities are struggling to protect wildlife.

Conservationists, scientists and health experts across the globe are calling for a complete worldwide ban of wildlife trade in order to prevent future pandemics, which would in turn help to prevent future poaching spikes as are currently being seen across Asia and Africa.

Elephant Family continues to work with conservation organisations to reduce human-wildlife conflict, and providing solutions that enable more peaceful coexistence between the people of Asia and the wildlife they share their home with. These solutions are vital if we are to prevent future outbreaks of zoonotic diseases.

You can read more about the issue of poaching faced by countries across Asia and Africa here. 


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