Coronavirus is creating a catastrophe for our wildlife as illegal wildlife trade sees rhinos, lions, giraffes poached. Over 5 months economies around the world have buckled under the strain of Covid-19. But, another crisis has gone largely un-noticed.
From forests of India to grasslands of Kenya there’s a new conservation emergency. Botswana has lost 10% of Rhinos. Lions have disappeared across Uganda’s national parks. Niger sees a massacre of Dorcas Gazelles. Seizures of Pangolins in Asian ports suggest an animal believed to be ground zero of Covid-19 is still being heavily poached.
Tourism freeze has had a disastrous impact on conservation. Implementation of strict quarantine measures in Africa has deprived a $50 billion eco-tourism industry which sustains national parks, conservation initiatives. Locals in South Asia, Africa driven to destitution are forced to hunt wildlife to feed families. Tanzania sees a spike in poaching. Giraffes are extinct in 7 countries, less than 50,000 across Africa. 150% increase in poaching in India. Russia remains fearful for Amur Tigers, just 500 left.