Art. # 213
INTERNATIONAL HEAVYWEIGHTS COMBAT POACHING AND ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE
BirdsConTour supports anti-poaching crusade
Photos and text by Stefan Rust
(In terms of the Geneva Convention the copyright of these texts belongs to Stefan Rust)
Illegal hunting, killing or capturing of wild animals has been the traditional definition for poaching. Since 1998 poaching becomes more and more defined as an environmental crime, referring to illegal activities that offend against the laws and regulations established for the protection of nature and its resources. Even the illegal harvest of wild plant species is treated as poaching.
Removed illegal weapons and traps that were used for poaching
Poaching, regardless of the motives, be it for commercial gain, home consumption, trophies, pleasure and thrill in killing wildlife, claim of traditional rights to hunt, negative dispositions toward regulations and authority, or for traditional medicine and ceremonies, has detrimental effects. These include elimination of habitats, reduction of wildlife populations, extinction of species, decrease in size of protected areas, negative impact on wildlife tourism, and distribution of diseases.
Unprecedented poaching led to one rhino being killed in Africa every 11 hours in 2013 and more than 10 percent of Africa’s elephant population has been poached for ivory in the last two years alone.
Poachers, regardless of whether individuals or organizations, are motivated by the
high reward and low risk in this trade. This nature of the poaching system needs to be inverted.
Therefore BirdsConTour gets involved with the Anti-Poaching Crusade project by directly and indirectly addressing the problem with various activities, aiming for the preservation of wildlife.
Organized bands of poachers are not only driving rhinoceros, elephants, lions and tigers on the brink of extinction, but they also threaten large numbers of other species, such as insects and birds.
A poached Southern Carmine Bee-eater. The feathers are traded.
Although many countries have laws prohibiting the catching of wild birds or allow hunting of birds in certain areas only within certain limits, criminals devastate bird populations. In the past, uncontrolled hunting by humans, contributed to the extinction of many bird species.
Noting that behind drug trafficking, illegal arms trade and human trafficking, the $ 17 billion-per-year international poaching activity is the world’s fourth largest crime trade, BirdsConTours’ Anti-Poaching Crusade is more than justified.Funds, generated by the BirdsConTour Travel gives Wings (Tourism) division, are used to fund the Anti-Poaching Crusade project.