Animal poaching has greatly affected the population of certain species. The statistics are shocking and show how quickly these animals are moving towards extinction.
- Every 20 minutes, the world adds another 3,500 human lives but loses one or more entire species of animal or plant life – at least 27,000 species per year. (Source: PBS)
- At the present rates of extinction, as many as 20% of the world’s 7-15 million species could be gone in the next 30 years. This rate of extinction has been unprecedented since the disappearance of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. (Source: WWF)
- 5 -10 million African elephants existed in 1930. Less than 1% of that number (approximately 600,000) remained when they were added to the international list of the most endangered species in 1989
- At the beginning of the 20th century there were a few million African elephants and approximately 100,000 Asian elephants. Today, there are about 450,000-700,000 African elephants and 35,000-40,000 Asian elephants.
- Both African and Asian elephants are now considered endanger
- The world is dealing with an unprecedented spike in illegal wildlife trade, threatening to overturn decades of conservation gains. Ivory estimated to weigh more than 23 metric tons—a figure that represents 2,500 elephants—was seized in the 13 largest seizures of illegal ivory in 2011. Poaching threatens the last of our wild tigers that number as few as 3,200.
(Source: International Rhino Foundation)
- Of the dozens of species of rhino that once roamed the earth, only 3 now exist.
- Where there were once over 100,000 black rhinos on the plains of Africa, there are now only 2,707 on the entire continent.
- The staggering decimation of the rhino population is due to poaching, to satisfy the demand for the horn for use in Eastern traditional medicines and as dagger handles.
- Prices up to US$40,000 a kilo have been recorded for the much prized rhino horn – more than 5 times the price of gold.
- In 2012, 668 rhinos were poached in South Africa. In the beginning of 2013, these animals were being poached at a rate of 2 per day.
- The three species of Asian rhino remain in grave danger: less than 300 Sumatran rhinos and only around 60 Javan rhinos are left, and poaching is an ever-present danger. Javan rhinos are probably the rarest mammal in existence.
- According to CITES, between 2009 and 2010 exports of lion bones from South Africa have risen by 250%.
- South Africa’s lions are down to the last few prides, with just 2,000 living in the wild.
- In the last 40 years, the African lion population has plummeted from roughly 200,000 to around 20,000 today.