For my impact round of research, I have found many consequences of poaching. The three that stood out the most to me were the endangerment/extinction of wildlife, imbalances in ecosystems, and the impact it has on humans and tourism .
I think that the endangerment and extinction of animals is the biggest consequence of poaching. Scientists believe that most elephant species will become extinct within the next decade if poachers aren’t stopped . Some species of tigers in Asia have been poached so much that only six percent of their entire historical population . In Africa, 97% of the rhino populations have been killed . In 2011, the Western Black Rhino was actually considered extinct . These are only a few examples of species that have been endangered/extinct.
Poaching causes major imbalances in ecosystems . For example, if certain animals are poached, it can majorly disrupt the food chain . If the food chain is disrupted, this can lead to the death of even more plants and animals . Keystone species are also linked to the balance of an ecosystem . A keystone species is a species vital to the survival and productivity of ecosystems . These species are generally irreplaceable and, if lost, it could mean the downfall of the entire system .
The last major impact poaching has is on humans and tourism . In some places poachers will kill rangers and officers to gain access to lands to poach on . When animals are poached, they can be transported from place to place, which can cause the spread of diseases . For example, poaching has been linked to the spread of viral diseases such as SARS, Ebola, and the most common, Covid-19 . This means that poachers are not only a threat to animals and plants, but humans as well. Poaching can also decrease tourism . People are often attracted to certain places for their wildlife. If this wildlife is removed, people will no longer want to visit these places .
There are so many other impacts of poaching, such as behavioural changes in the animals and reproductivity issues, but I feel that these are the most common and most important. With poachers becoming more and more active, a lot of issues could make our world not as diverse and sustainable as it is. Poachers should be stopped before they endanger more lives.