Conservationists and animal activists have created a mythology that poaching is mostly illegal hunting for trophies or something like ivory for decoration.
It's not the case at all, and that confusion is why anti-poaching efforts are about as effective as the 'War on Drugs' in America.
Poaching is primarily done to satisfy the alternative and complementary medicine markets, which are a quirky shadow business in America (the U.S. government's $120 million annual National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine - NCCAM - boondoggle aside) but in Asia, alternative medicine is popular. As a result of growing wealth being thrown at suspect unproven "natural" treatments, unprecedented levels of funding are being invested in poaching enforcement, while events such as China’s public burning of confiscated ivory publicize the problem but lead to a false sense of satisfaction that something is being done.
A long-term strategy is not to demonize hunting, even the illegal kind, or even goofy pseudo-medical practices, but rather to tackle the growing wealth gap between African areas of supply and Asian centers of demand, which remains a central dynamic to the problem. Doing otherwise repeats the same mistakes America made in its War on Drugs.
Legal trading bans also drive up the price of poached goods, which in turn encourages the involvement of organized criminals who operate like drug cartels.
"Much of the current narrative on responses to poaching and illegal trade in wildlife is centered on increasing enforcement efforts and anti-poaching measures. We argue that this approach risks making the same mistake as the 'war on drugs', because it doesn't address the real drivers of poaching. For example, increasing demand in East Asia and growing relative poverty nationally and internationally,” said lead author Daniel Challender from the University of Kent. “To conserve species' we need to build capacity to do so within local communities and consider supply-based approaches and demand reduction programs based on further research."
Citation: Daniel W. S. Challender, Douglas C. MacMillan, Poaching is more than an enforcement problem, Conservation Letters, DOI: 10.1111/conl.12082
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- A Dimuon Particle At 30 GeV In ALEPH ??
- Journalists - Please Fact Check Your "Doomsday" News Stories -They Terrify Young Children And Vulnerable People
- DDoS war: How zombie fridges bit the internet in the a$$ today.
- President Obama, Why Humans On Mars Right Now Are Bad For Science
- A Racist On The Jews: Let The Donald Trump!
- Biofuels Are A Climate Mistake
- EPA Again Delays Report On Safety Of Glyphosate
- "The only people who are in for a shock are the people who believe in it, when nothing happens...."
- "Oh, okay, you need to understand a bit about how solar systems form. It starts with a condensing..."
- "Are we gonna be in for a shock with this nibiru planet mr walker also if you had the chance to..."
- "The thing that gets me mr walker is planets can collide so why all of a sudden is this now impossible..."
- "Oh, I saw that comment thanks. I didn't see any point in replying. They gave no reasons, didn't..."
- Placebo: Bubbles Of Nothing Are Still Not Something
- People Who Take Drugs May Be Likelier to Commit Suicide
- Improved 'Screen Time' Guidelines Could Make Parents & Kids Happier
- Dr. Jamie Wells Named One Of America's Top Pediatricians
- Why Did EPA Delay Its Glyphosate Safety Report?
- Scientists Should Fight Postmodern Public Values