Poaching is Savage and not in a Good Way

Did you know that currently, rhino horn can sell for more than gold?  Rhino horn is sold most often as a result of poaching.  Poaching is not beneficial to anyone.  If you value animal life, then you will be against poaching.  Poaching should be banned because it is not only cruel, but it also damages our economy.

Before you take a side on poaching, you need to be informed.  Dictionary.com states that poaching is the illegal practice of trespassing on another’s property to hunt or steal game without the landowners permission.  Animals that are poached commonly are elephants, rhinos, and many other African animals. Poaching has been going on for a while, but a recent surge in wildlife trade is threatening to undo years of conservation.  The reason for this, as stated by One Green Planet, is that poaching can affect local communities, the environment, and animals in the area.  This means that this surge will not only un-do conservation gains, but it will also affect many other factors in the area.  The World Wildlife Fund or WWF states that “not all wildlife trade is illegal”.  They explain that it turns into poaching when it is indeed threatening the survival of these species.  You must also have a permit to authorize you or you are technically poaching. If poaching continues, it will continue to undo conservation gains.

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Poaching affects many things including the local communities.  Furthermore, One Green Planet mentions that if you have a community that relies on its wildlife to attract tourists, then their economy will suffer if the poaching rate is high.  Simply, if the wildlife is gone, so is their tourist business, which definitely has a significant impact.  This is one of the reasons that there are so many people living in poverty in Africa.  Furthermore, One Green Planet claims that when there are fewer animals, it causes people to boycott locations, which causes other attractions to suffer.  When you do not have your main attraction, no one comes in the first place.  When tourists do not come at all, the other attractions, aside from the wildlife business, suffer as well.  Economies and communities are impacted more than you might think.

One of the most obvious aspects that poaching has an effect on is animal life.  One Green Planet suggests that the biggest threat to these animals is extinction.  The western black rhino was proved to be extinct due to poaching.  Many other animals are critically endangered, such as the standard black rhino, vulnerable, like zebras, or extinct, like the western black rhino, due to poaching.  The World Wildlife Foundation claims that often, poachers accidentally kill a whole other species then intended.  For example, they could be trying to kill a rhino, but accidentally kill a bird or another animal instead.  This kills even more animals.  Extinction of animals is the most urgent and direct effect of poaching.

You must also think about the effect poaching has on the environment around you.  For example, One Green Planet informs that when an animal in a food web goes extinct or is endangered, it affects the rest of the organisms in that food web.  When this happens, animals get over or underpopulated.  This causes the whole ecosystem to be jumbled. Overall, all of the organisms in an ecosystem depend on each other.

There are also a few effects on humans from poaching as well.  For instance, an article by the name of The Harmful Consequences of Poaching. claims that many animals that are poached have diseases deadly to humans. Some of these diseases can be transferred through contact, or when you eat meat that has not been treated properly.  In fact, the 1990 Ebola outbreak as due to eating apes that were infected by Ebola.  Poaching could have a significant effect on your life as well.

People poach for many different reasons.  The American Wildlife Foundation or AWF, states that “due to recent habitat loss, lions are being forced to live closer to humans.”.  Therefore, the farmers are retaliating by killing them for preying on their livestock.  This is poaching out of sheer retaliation, but the overall cause is habitat loss and that is doing damage in our environment as well. Hence, with this current rate of poaching in Africa, many beloved animals may be gone while we are still alive. 

The laws regarding poaching are much too vague.  Furthermore, as stated by WWF, weak judicial systems and light sentences allow criminal networks to keep plundering wildlife with little regard to consequences.  Therefore, people continue to poach because there are not many risks, but many rewards.  Usually, the people behind the plans are not caught so they just hire more people to poach once they get the profit.  For instance, an article called The Harmful Consequences of Poaching. conveyed that usually, the money poachers get is mostly used to pay more people to poach more animals.  This cycle will keep continuing over and over again.  Eventually, this cycle will kill off more and more animals.  Poachers continue to do this due to lack of consequence. 

 Poaching is not the only thing people are doing, they also do much more to damage the environment, communities, and other animals.  As stated by an article named The Harmful Consequences of Poaching., some poachers are not only killing these animals but are instead capturing them to sell as pets.  This is very corrupt and frankly dangerous.  These are wild animals and are not trained, they could potentially injure or kill someone if this keeps going on.  Also, WWF reports that wildlife traders and buyers also sometimes introduce ivasive species to environments.  This means that a species is not native to an area comes into the environment.  When this happens, the balance of nature and the environment is threatened.  This throws off the balance because the ivasive species can eat all of one animal’s prey and the predator and prey get underpopulated.  The predator has nothing to eat and the prey is getting eaten too much.  This is not directly related to poaching, but it is still an issue with wildlife.  Overall, illegal wildlife activity is harmful and has many effects on different things.   

Some people poach just to make a living.  One Green Planet claims that in some regions, poaching is more profitable than other jobs, causing more people to do it.  In fact, tiger parts can sell for up to $5,000 mostly on the black market.  As shown above, AWF reveals that presently, on the black market, rhino horn can sell for more than gold.  Some people see poaching as a great way to make a living.  It does pay a lot, but no amount of money is worth the extinction of a whole animal species. After all,  the more people that poach, the more negative effect it has. 

Some might argue that rhino horn can be used for medicinal properties. They think that since it cures hangovers, fevers, cancer, and other diseases, it is ok to poach animals.  However, this is not the case, many organizations have yet to produce proven factual evidence that this will actually work.  Although everyone wants this to be true, it does not make poaching just or right.  In fact, it is proven by several organizations that rhino horn is proven to cure none of these things.

There are many organizations helping this cause.  For example, AWF is doing many things to help.  They are training rangers to protect animals, conserving land, working with different conservation groups, and educating people.  They are also providing alternatives to poaching.  They are doing this by making sure wildlife is not harmed in order to sustain local communities.

 Some organizations are deciding to calmly spot and fight poachers to catch them in the act.  QZ.com reveals that Prince Harry is supporting British soldiers who are teaching rangers how to deal with poachers.  They are using military-grade equipment to track poachers.  This is mainly taking place in Kenya.  This is taking a stand against poaching, without harming anyone.  Also, VETPAW (QZ.com) is partnering U.S. veterans and African game parks to teach them military tactics.  They are trying to teach the rangers to find where poachers are coming from so they can knock them out by their source.  Some people are arguing this movement.  However, the organization states that they are not doing anything to harm the wildlife or the poachers.  Many organizations are eager to help take down this issue in Africa.

You can help this cause in many different ways.  One Green Planet recommends signing petitions to end wildlife crime and making donations for various organizations.  You can also volunteer to help with fundraisers and sign up for different learning experiences. An article called The Harmful Consequences of Poaching. suggests that you can help by spreading the word.  You need to educate people about this issue.  You can even start a fundraiser in your own community.  Even you can help with something that seems so distant.  

This last piece of evidence can help you decide what you will go on to do next, but the bottom line is that poaching is a horrible epidemic.  It should be banned because it is cruel and it also damages our economy.  It is also important to keep in mind all of the things that poaching effects.  Have you ever gone to the store and seen a beautiful ivory bracelet?  I bet you do not know what went into the making of that bracelet.  Do you really think that one pretty bracelet is worth the life of an elephant or rhino?  Everyone needs to realize that if we do not stop poaching, many animals that we depend on and love will be gone.

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