WHY WE DO IT
We are Experiencing the Sixth Mass Extinction
"The population sizes of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have seen an alarming average drop of 68% since 1970."
"The Holocene extinction, otherwise known as the Sixth Mass Extinction, is an ongoing extinction event of species during the present Holocene epoch as a result of human activity"
"One of the most barbaric and preventable human-caused activities that is pushing many animal species into extinction is poaching."
Source: World Wildlife Fund “Living Planet report 2020”
Impact on African Elephants
“Poachers are currently shooting elephants at a rate of about 100 per day, or about 30,000 every year. In other words, about 10% of the population is being wiped out every year. More elephants are being killed each year than are being born.”
Source for elephant data:
World Wildlife Fund website: https://support.worldwildlife.org
Scott Ramsay of Love Wild Africa for Traveller24
Impact on Rhinos
In 1900 the world-wide Rhino population was 500,000. Today it is less than 27,300
Four of Five Rhino Species are endangered
Three of the four species of Rhinos could become extinct in our lifetime
The Northern White Rhino is already functionally Extinct. There are only 2 living females left on the planet
“In Africa, criminals killed nearly 900 rhinos last year. While this is a decrease from 3.7 rhinos lost per day in 2015, 2018 still saw 2.4 rhinos killed per day – or one rhino every 10 hours.”
Source of Rhino Data:
ABC News and "Rhino Wars," an article in National Geographic's March 2012 issue
2019 State of the Rhino Report, International Rhino Foundation
Impact on Big Cats - Lion
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species lists the status of the following Big Cats:
“Today, lions are extinct in 26 African countries, have vanished from over 95% of their historic range, and experts estimate that there are 20,000 left in the wild. Though lions still exist in 28 African countries and one Asian country, only six protected area complexes are known to support more than 1,000 lions.
Lions are most significantly impacted by illegal bushmeat hunting and body part trade, conflict with local people due to livestock depredation, habitat loss and fragmentation and to a lesser extent by unsustainable trophy hunting. The rise of poaching for body parts is especially alarming and might mean the end of many smaller less well protected lion populations.”
Impact on Big Cats - Tiger
“The tiger is one of the most iconic animals on earth, but the largest of the big cats is on the brink of extinction.
As recently as 100 years ago, as many as 100,000 wild tigers roamed across Asia. Today, about 3,900 tigers are left in the wild, occupying a mere four percent of their former range.
This catastrophic population decline is driven by a range of threats, including poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, overhunting of prey species by local people, habitat loss and fragmentation, and human-tiger conflict.”
Impact on Big Cats - Leopard
“The leopard is likely the most persecuted large cat in the world. Extinct in 13 countries/regions and possibly extinct in seven more, leopards have vanished from at least two-thirds of their historic range in Africa and 84 percent of their historic range in Eurasia.
The species is threatened by illegal killing for their skins and other body parts used in ceremonial regalia, conflict with local people, rampant bushmeat poaching and poorly managed trophy hunting.”
Impact on Big Cats - Cheetah
“There are estimated to be only 7,100 cheetahs in the wild, and their future remains uncertain across their range. Extinct in 25 countries and possibly extinct in a further 13 countries, cheetahs have vanished from approximately 91 percent of their historic range. They are extinct in Asia apart from a single, isolated population of perhaps 50 individuals in central Iran.
Cheetahs are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but scientist are calling for cheetahs to be up listed to Endangered. In North Africa and Asia, they are considered Critically Endangered.”
Impact on Big Cats - Jaguar
“Jaguars exist in 18 countries in Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina. Despite this broad range, jaguars have been eradicated from 40 percent of their historic range and are extinct in Uruguay and El Salvador. While the rare individual has been spotted in the US, there has not been evidence of a breeding population in the US in more than 50 years.
The jaguar is listed as Near Threatened on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, though its status is in review and may be elevated to Vulnerable in the next year.
The species is threatened by loss and fragmentation of jaguar habitat, conflict with local people due to real and perceived threat posed to livestock, and overhunting of the jaguar’s prey by local people.”
Impact on Mountain Gorillas
“The hunting, trading and consumption of gorillas – and other apes – is almost universally illegal in all Congo Basin countries.
However, poaching continues unabated due to a lack of enforcement of national and international laws, coupled with ineffective judiciary systems.
There are only around a thousand mountain gorillas left on Earth. Their numbers have diminished due to human conflict, loss of habitat and poaching. They are poached for bushmeat, medicinal cures, and pets.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List reduced them from Critically Endangered to Endangered after decades of intensive conservation brought their population numbers from about 640 to 1004 individuals in the latest census taken in 2019.
The threat of COVID-19 has caused poaching to spike with alarm for conservationist. Meanwhile, Mountain Gorillas face possible extinction from COVID-19. Gorillas share about 98 percent of human DNA and they share the same protein that COVID attacks in humans. If COVID-19 is transferred by humans to the small Mountain Gorilla population, its effects could be devastating.”