Too many animals continue to suffer at the unscrupulous hands of humans despite best efforts to protect them
Lately, Japan announced that their whaling activities will continue. While whale meat demand has decreased considerably in the country, the hunting won’t stop for ‘political reasons’. As a consequence, the whale population will become more endangered than it already is. Unfortunately, whales are not the only endangered species that continue to be hunted for their meat or particular characteristics. Here are some others.
1. Amur leopards
Hunted for their magnificent fur, Amur leopards are classified as critically endangered with only a few of them still alive (more than 60 individuals). The survivors can mostly be found in Russia’s Land of the Leopard National Park.
These great apes are still hunted by humans, especially in African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo for food and the bushmeat trade. They are also victims of poaching for traditional medicines.
Elephants can be found in different countries worldwide (India, Sri Lanka, etc.) Many species are critically endangered by being poached for their ivory tusks. The Asian elephant is the best example. However, they suffer from other threats which include deforestation, habitat loss, capture for domestic use and during human conflicts in settled areas.
4. Giant Pandas
For a long time giant pandas have been hunted for their fur. Nowadays with strict anti-hunting measures in place, especially in countries like China, their situation has improved. The problem however is that they continue to be accidentally killed by hunters seeking other animals on their territories.
Although they can be a danger from their capacity to carry serious diseases such as Ebola, they are mainly hunted for their meat or poached as pets in African countries. Wars have been another threat for them (Rwandan Civil War, political instability in the Congo), as well as habitat loss.
Living in Madagascar, the lemur is one of the most endangered mammals. Indeed, the number of hunted lemurs has increased since Madagascar’s 2009 political crisis and despite legislation, they are still being poached for their meat.
The eight pangolin species suffer from illegal trade. With a growing demand in Asia and especially Africa, this little creature is being killed on a large-scale for his delicate meat. Their scales are also used in traditional medicine to cure a range of health issues such as asthma.
Black rhinos or Sumatran rhinos for instance, are highly endangered because of the horn trade. In Vietnam, people believe their horns help to cure cancer. In addition, rhinos are threatened by catastrophes, diseases and habitat loss, making them even more vulnerable.
9. Sea turtles
From overharvesting (overexploitation) of eggs, trade and medical use, sea turtles are one of the most endangered sea species. However, in some parts of the world such as the eastern Pacific Coast of Mexico, their situation has improved through the introduction of measures to fully protect them.
Every part of the tiger is illegally traded. This animal is so endangered that some forests in Asian countries are now empty of tigers. In fact, legislation in the relevant areas is not sufficient yet, and the tiger continues to suffer from poachers. As well as this, climate change, human conflicts and habitat loss are further dangers to the survival of these hunted creatures.