The month of October is considered one of the spookiest months in the whole year. However, there are a lot of frightening things occurring all year long - specifically in wildlife.
Not many people know what is causing wildlife animal populations to decrease. That is why our wildlife conservation and zoo biology team wants to share with you three terrifying things occurring in wildlife.
As you might have already known, many wild animals are losing their homes - especially those that live in the forests. This deforestation is due to the chopping down of trees for crops, timber, fuel and overgrazing. New research shows that over five million hectares of forest lands are taken by industrial agriculture.
The forests around the world are home to millions of animals. Deforestation has caused many of these animals to become endangered. Some animals affected by deforestation include:
For example, both Asian elephants and African forest elephants have been impacted by habitat loss. Their homes were taken and forced them to search for food and shelter closer to humans. This has resulted in growing conflicts between elephants and humans.
Believe it or not, animals are still continually being hunted down, killed or captured for trading purposes. Big and small animals are traded in what is called wildlife trade, in which living or dead species are taken and sold. This is the fourth largest illegal trade in the world.
Many countries around the world have put regulations to prevent animals from being poached. However, many animals are still killed or captured daily to be sold illegally. Wildlife conservation and zoo biology experts believe that poaching is a growing issue because many animal populations have declined and have not been able to recover.
Here is a list of animals that are killed or captured for wildlife trade:
One of those animals includes African and Asian elephants. Both of these animals are being poached for their tusks. The tusks are used to create ivory that is used in jewelry, statues and other items. In 1989, CITES put an international trade ban on ivory. However, people are still trading it illegally.
Due to this poaching, there are an estimated 100 African elephants killed every day by poachers. These actions have left around 400,000 African elephants left.
Over the past 10 years, zoo elephant death rates have exceeded birth rates!
Animals in zoos are taken care of, rehabilitated and observed to determine the best wildlife conservation practices. However, over recent years, researchers have found that some animals are not self-sustaining in zoos. What does this mean?
Well, the zoo animals are not reproducing as they would in the wild. One of those animals is elephants. Scientists, like Dr. Morfeld, have discovered that fertility rates in elephants have decreased. This could be caused due to stress levels, diet and lack of exercise. Currently, there are three births vs. five deaths annually.
Want to support wildlife conservation and zoo biology research?
You can always support For Elephants mission by making a donation! Every donation goes to funding our research to improve reproductive rates and determine the best conservation practices for elephants around the world. Donate here.