Why Poaching is a Problem and Ways We Can Help

Poaching has been a problem since the 1800s and it still continues to be an issue [1]. In the 1970s-1980s, poaching reached the point where it became a severe problem [1]. There are so many reasons why poaching is an issue and how it affects not only wildlife, but humans simultaneously. The three ways poaching can be understood is by explaining what poaching really is and why people do it, by explaining the impacts of it, and by learning about some possible solutions.
The first step to controlling poaching is to really understand what poaching is. Poaching is the illegal capturing and/or killing of wildlife [2]. The animal products are generally sold in local or even global markets [3]. Poaching is done for many reasons and done in a variety of ways. The main reasons why poaching is done are for medicinal and cultural reasons, to keep as pets, and as a sport or for profit [3][4][5]. Poaching can also be caused by poverty and lack of law enforcement [4]. Most poachers tend to use poisoned arrows to kill the animals as it is quieter and less likely to attract any attention [6]. Even though they are quite loud, some poachers also prefer to use hunting rifles [7]. Poaching is done for a lot more reasons than listed, but these are the main ones.
Now that poaching is understood, the impacts of it have to be addressed. The main problem that poaching creates is endangerment and extinction [8]. If animals or plants go extinct, it can cause imbalances in the ecosystems, causing more than just the wildlife being poached to be affected [8]. In species such as elephants, poaching has caused behavioral changes, causing less efficiency in their migrating and foraging for food [9]. Lesser known impacts of poaching are decreases in tourism, as well as the killing of park rangers so the hunters can have access to the areas, and the spread of common diseases, such as SARS, Ebola, and even Covid 19 [8]. This means that poaching not only has a large impact on wildlife, but on humans as well.
After understanding what poaching is and what some impacts are, the next topic to be discussed is some possible solutions. The main way poaching can be avoided is by alerting the public and engaging people [10]. If people alert the proper authorities if they see anything suspicious, or if they ask where the products they are buying come from and report anything that seems untrustworthy, poaching can be reduced substantially [10][11]. More rangers could be hired and/or trained better to deal with poaching [10]. Another way to prevent poaching is to create harsher laws, like making poaching punishable by a life sentence in jail if the crime is extreme enough [12]. These are just a few ways to reduce the amount of animals and plants being poached.
Now that poaching is understood and the impacts have been clearly stated, it is evident that poaching is a dilemma. For example, the capturing and killing of wildlife pushes so many animals to the point of endangerment and extinction [2]. If people are informed on these impacts, it will be easier to find solutions where people want to help stop it. This is why getting the public involved would be a suitable course of action. Poaching is a problem and will continue to be one as long as no one takes action to prevent it.

References:
[1] https://www.thoughtco.com/poaching-in-africa-43351#:~:text=The%201970s%20and%20’80s&text=Those%20hunting%20for%20food%20present,in%20particular%20faced%20potential%20extinction.
[2] https://www.nationalgeographic.org/topics/poaching/?q=&page=1&per_page=25
[3] https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/poaching-animals
[4] WATKINS, L., RUTAN, S., & VITALE, V. (2019). Interpreting Poaching: WITHOUT GETTING INTO HOT WATER. Legacy (National Association for Interpretation), 30(3), 10–12. (peer-reviewed)
[5] https://www.britannica.com/topic/poaching-law
[6] https://petpedia.co/poaching-statistics/
[7]https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/160112-Africa-gun-control-poaching-elephants-rhinos
[8] https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-effects-solutions-poaching.php
[9]https://www.iucn.org/backup_iucn/cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/pachy13.pdf#page=44 (peer-reviewed)
[10] https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-effects-solutions-poaching.php
[11]https://www.ecohealthalliance.org/2017/10/7-ways-you-can-help-stop-the-illegal-wildlife-trade
[12] https://www.rifiuticampania.org/2018/07/popular-ways-to-curb-poaching-of-wildlife/

2 Replies to “Why Poaching is a Problem and Ways We Can Help”

  1. Hey Alyana,
    this is a wonderful blog post. Before reading, I hadn’t ever heard of poaching. Now I’ve learned what it is, the impact it creates and I’ve gotten to learn the deeper truth behind it. Your blog post is so well researched and informative. I really enjoyed learning more today and hope you continue to put as much effort into upcoming blog posts!

    Good luck with your future blog posts!

  2. Thank you so much for doing this project more people need to know about this it’s such an overlooked issue, you did an amazing job!

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