But illegal poaching might destroy it forever.
Where do we stand?
BLACK RHINO: POPULATION DOWN 97.6% SINCE 1960
MOUNTAIN GORILLA: FEWER THAN 900 REMAIN
AFRICAN ELEPHANT: UP TO 35,000 KILLED LAST YEAR
LION: EXTINCT IN SEVEN AFRICAN COUNTRIES
GREVY'S ZEBRA: APPROXIMATELY 2,000 REMAIN
Why are these animals killed?
Endangered animals are slaughtered so that a single body part – like tusks, pelt, or bones – can be illegally sold for huge sums of money.
RHINO HORN is believed to treat: hangovers, ipotence, fever, cancer
proven to cure: none of the above
the demand for rhino horn is exceedingly high on the black market; and is even valued more than gold.
ivory is carved into: jewlery, utensils, religious figurines, trinkets. worth the life of an elephant? no. Illegal ivory can fetch a high price on the black market and can make a quick profit if the products can be traded in volume.
Zebras are hunted for their skins. They are also occasionally used for meat or medicine.
Wildlife officials have observed a recent surge in trafficking of infant gorillas. They are sold for up to $40,000.
Due to recent habitat loss, many lions live close to humans and are killed by farmers in retaliation for preying on livestock.
How did this happen?
The vast majority of poaching is caused by organized crime syndicates that use high-powered technology and weaponry to track and kill many animals at once without being detected.
ak-47s, grenade launchers, night-vision goggles, gps & low-flying helicopters
What does this mean for Africa?
vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered
at current paching rates, elephants, rhinos, and other iconic African wildlife may be gone within our lifetime.
what we're doing:
Protect Wildlife: We recruit, train, and equip our scouts with advanced tools like satellite phones, GPS, and all-terrain vehicles to help them safeguard animals.
Conserve Land: In tandem with anti-poaching efforts, we establish wildlife corridors – large sections of land that allow animals to move from one national park to another.
Educate the Public: We work with conservation groups and governments to raise awareness of poaching, illegal trading, and dwindling wildlife populations.
Provide Livelihood Alternatives: We work to provide alternative means of livelihood to local communities so wildlife is not harmed in order to sustain the local economy.
That's not all. To learn about our many ongoing efforts to protect Africa, visit: www.awf.org