The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected the entire world. It has forced almost all countries to shift their focus entirely to fighting the pandemic, no matter at what cost. It has forced governments to shut down schools, colleges, and even workplaces. As a result, the economy is suffering. Countries all over the world are facing mass unemployment, and the general public is facing the brunt of the pandemic.
However, the shutdown of capitalist activities across the world has allowed nature to reclaim its space. People all over the world have reported seeing more animals and birds near their houses.
However, nature is now bearing the cost of the pandemic. People who have no other option but to turn to natural resources are hurting wildlife in the process.
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HOW IS THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC HURTING WILDLIFE?
Organizations all over the world are reporting an increase in poaching as poverty caused by the pandemic begins to settle in.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) reported that 1% of one critically endangered bird, giant ibis, was killed in a single event in Cambodia. They said –
“Conservationists are noticing increases in hunting of protected species since the spread of coronavirus began to disrupt traditional economic and social systems in rural areas.”
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India has reported an upsurge in tiger poaching. Moreover, the rhinoceros and other endangered species are considered to be at risk in Africa.
Colin Poole is a regional director with WCS. While talking about the communities who are resorting to poaching, he said –
“They [rural communities] are the last line of defence for these forests, these birds, these wetlands, and they’re the people that need support right now so they have alternatives and they don’t need to turn to natural resource extraction to survive.”