Top 5 Poached Animals You Need To Know

Poaching is illegal hunting, killing or capturing of wild animals also referred to the illegal harvesting of wild plant species. Its an environmental crime against the natural resources,illegal hunting of wildlife for animal products such as ivory, horn, teeth,skin and bone.

Poaching across the world is epidemic in today’s world. Whether we’re talking about elephants, shark finning, whaling or even the by catch of fishing, it’s something that threatens our natural world just as much as climate change and our expanding society.The poaching of endangered animals utterly dominates animal news worldwide. Not a day goes by when coverage isn’t given to the plight of Rhinos, Elephants, Tigers and a whole army of other animals who are targeted for their value on the black market.

Various species of animals are poached around the world. Their remains are used in various ways, often for luxury or medicinal purposes.

1) Elephants

Elephants are poached for a variety of reasons, most often for their ivory tusks which have “great aesthetic value”. They are intimidating into traps or pitfalls and the tusks are painfully detached, Till 1995, up to 2,000 elephants mostly tuskers were poached in the southern forest and 100 elephants have been killed in last 2 years across south India.Legal and illegal hunting has taken a great toll on India’s elephant populations over the past two centuries. However the Asian elephant’s declining numbers can also be attributed to habitat loss and related results of human encroachment including deaths from road accidents (cars and trains).

Africa is taking a stand against illegal poaching. Just over a month ago, Kenya burned the largest stockpile of ivory sending a message to poachers that elephant are worth more alive.


2) Rhino

Rhino poaching in Assam is one of the major environmental issues in India which continues in the region of Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park and some other grasslands of Assam. they have been poached just because their horns are believed to have aphrodisiac properties and are widely used in traditional medicines. Like elephants, they are driven into traps for their ivory horns.

Fortunately, Nepal is working to achieve zero rhino poaching, enforcing stricter poaching penalties. It’s working too! In the last three years, Nepal increased rhino population by 21 percent.


3) Tigers

Tigers have been poached for longer than perhaps any other animal. A single tiger can bring in nearly $50,000 on the black market. Across Asia, nearly every part of their bodies is sold, but mostly for a traditional Chinese medicine known as tiger bone wine and for their skins, which are used for décor. Due to the poaching of tigers, overall populations have dropped from 100,000 a hundred years ago.

Luckily, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Leonardo DiCaprio have partnered to create a campaign called Save Tigers Now. This campaign aims to build political, financial and public support to double the amount of wild tigers by 2022.


4) Gorilla

Gorillas are also frequently maimed or killed by traps and snares intended for other forest animals such as antelopes. Gorillas are also sought after as pets or trophies and for their body parts, which are used in medicine and as magical charms. Gorilla poaching isn’t commonly heard about. They are poached for their meat, capture for collections, and and trophies. Collectors and trophie holders are after gorilla hands, feet, skins, skulls, as well as gorilla infants.

Gorilla conservation programs not only work to protect the gorillas themselves but also help to protect thousands of other species of animals and plants that are found in gorilla habitat.


5) Pangolins

The endangered pangolin is being eaten out of existence before many people have even heard of it. There are eight existing species of pangolins in the world. Four of the species are Asian: Chinese, Malayan (or Sunda), Indian and Palawan; while the others are African: Tree pangolin, Giant ground pangolin, Cape pangolin and Long-tailed pangolin. As a result, pangolin scales can sell on the black market for over $3,000 a kilogram, and have even been used to make coats.

It is estimated that more than a million pangolins have been snatched from the wild in the past decade. The IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group is leading efforts to save pangolins from poaching and illegal trade.


Organisations Working To Protect Poached Animals or Endangered Species


1) The International Rhino Fund (IRF)

Who are they: The International Rhino Fund have been funding and operating rhino conservation programs for the last 25 years to ensure the survival of rhinos. Their major operations are in Africa and Asia, where most of the rhino species live. They have their horns in to stop poachers!

Which endangered animals do they protect: They protect all five rhino species that fall victim to poaching:

• Sumatran rhinos
• Javan rhinos
• Greater One-Horned rhino
• Black rhino
• White Rhino

How can I support this organisation: The ISF has an online shop where you can buy anything from jewellery, funky rhino printed hoodies, or cute rhino printed baby onesies. All the money raised go towards rhino conservation and you can join their social media #TeamRhino Campaign.
2) The World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Who are they: The WWF is probably the most well-known conservation organisation and doesn’t need much of an introduction. They have been fighting for wildlife conservation for various decades and their efforts have not been in vain – they have made a huge difference to our natural world both on land and in the ocean.

Which endangered animals do they protect: The WWF supports any animals that need protecting and their efforts stretch wide and far – from the freezing Antarctic to the sunny skies of Mexico or the lush bushveld of Africa. Some of the animals they help protect are:

• Tigers
• Orangutans
• Marine Turtles
• Rhinos
• Chimpanzees
• Elephants
• Leopards
• Dolphins
• Gorillas
• Whales

What is their vision: “WWF fights to secure a future for animals on the planet we all share. We envision, create, test and deliver solutions for a crowded planet.”


3) The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Who are they: WCS was founded in 1895 and is committed to protecting the world’s wildlife, focusing on 15 priority regions. Their activities are aimed at combining science, conservation and education.

Which endangered animals do they protect: They protect animals threatened by issues like climate change and misuse of resources. These species include:

• Big cats
• Elephants
• Apes
• Bears
• Carnivores

How can I support this organisation: As WCS states, wildlife is worth fighting for and there are a range of ways in which you can get involved to help them serve their cause.


4) International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN)

The IUCN was the world’s first global environmental organisation and work towards finding solutions to pressing environmental challenges. Over 185 countries form part of the union and they have thousands of field projects around the globe.

Which endangered animals do they protect: Apart from programmes based on Business, Economics, Gender, Global policy, Social policies, Water and World Heritage, the IUCN also supports various environment focused initiatives and run the Save Our Species project. This project aims to protect and support threatened species and their habitats. The following are only some of the animals that have benefitted from these conservation efforts:

• African elephants
• African lions
• Manatees
• Crocodiles
• Penguins
• Atlantic Humpback dolphins
• Bengal tigers
• Green Sea turtle
• Leopards
• Scalloped Hammerhead shark
5) Defenders of Wildlife
Who are they: Defenders of Wildlife work to protect and restore endangered species in North America and around the world.
Which endangered animals do they protect: Defenders plan their support efforts according to The Endangered Species Act (ESA) and support any imperilled wildlife and plants through conservation projects. They have successfully helped to protect:
• Polar Bears in the Arctic
• Fishers in Washington
• Bison in the Colorado Prairie
What is their vision: “Diverse wildlife populations in North America are secure and thriving, sustained by a network of healthy lands and waters.”

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