Each year, thousands of wildlife species become extinct. These animals have ever wandered around the Earth in mass of droves; but now they permanently disappeared from our planet with a terribly high speed. Scientists estimate that the current extinction speed is 1000 times as high as normal speed. What has caused extinction rate rapidly increased like that?
The simplest but most worrisome answer is: human. Apart from consumption too many natural resources, a more worrisome trend threatening wildlife is illegal hunting wild animals (2)
and illegal trading wild animals
. Matter of poaching and smuggling wild animals and their body parts on the black market are on the rise. The growing demand for products derived from some typical terrestrial animal species such as elephants, rhinos and tigers not only threaten those animal species but also threaten the peace, health and the prosperity of the resident living near them.
Besides being killed for their meat, wild animals are being killed for their organs. These parts are used to process the folk medicines in Asia and for decorative purposes. For examples: rhinoceros horns are used to make the stock of dagger and fever medicines; ivories are used to make inexpensive jewelry; and tiger fur skins
are used to dress or make attached accessories.
Rhinoceros in Zimbabwe
and neighboring countries belonging to the south of South Africa as well as the Javan Rhinoceros distributed in the Indonesian islands, spanning the whole of Southeast Asia to India and China are seriously threatened in danger by illegal hunting wild animals to trade the horns to Asian markets. During the period from 1970 to 1992, 96% of Africa Black Rhinoceros was killed in a wave of poaching to take the horns; mainly due to longstanding belief in folk medicines of traditional Oriental medicine that rhinoceros horns may lower the fever and other diseases, including the cancer. This black market exists themselves durably and could sell at up to $ 30,000 per kilogram of rhino horn, although there is evidence that rhino horn has no medical value.
Gabon is a place was once considered as the paradise of the African forest elephant, because there are more than half of the African forest elephants, about 40,000 elephants, living here. The conservation experts have ever thought that Gabon is a safe place for African forest elephants. But the elephant ivory in Gabon is something attractive to poachers because they are very hard and have pink color. So elephant hunting at here was beyond the control of the government. Poachers have killed more than 11,000 elephants, account for 44-77% of the number of elephants in Gabon, for their ivories since 2004. It is said that the high demand for jewelry and other products from ivory in Asian makes the poachers promote killing elephants in recent years. Similarly, in Minkebe national park, there are about 50 to 100 elephants killed each day in 2011. Only in 2011, the poachers killed about 25,000 African elephants all over the world.
In the early 1990s, the world’s tiger population is estimated to be over 100,000. Today, 97% of this population has been wiped off. It just remains below 3,200 tigers. Although most of the traditional remedies are not harmful to the animals and the environment, the folk remedies requiring beard, fat, skin and bone are threatening to wipe this vulnerable type of animals out.
Moreover, South American river turtles, Tarsier short monkeys, Okapi, freshwater dolphins and so on are typical wild animal species seriously threatened by number because of excessively hunting issue for meat, egg and other organs.