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African Conservancy and Wildlife
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African Wildlife Today
Rare
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Vulnerable
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Endangered
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Extinct

Without man, this progression would normally occur over millions of years, or over a span of time long enough to provide for the evolution of new species or subspecies. But Man, unbridled, has demonstrated the capability of turning the millions of years turn into hundreds, acting as the most systematically destructive force on the planet.

Decline in African Cheetah Population

Whether directly, as a result of fencing, hunting, and subsistence and commercial poaching; or indirectly as the unmitigated consequence of overpopulation, over-consumption, over-utilization of the soil, massive destruction of the forests and pollution of air and water, man is architecting the destruction of ecosystems all over the planet. Even the future of protected areas is questionable, as encroachment on land and demands for natural resources go unchecked.

The last hundred years have seen a terrifying decline of African wildlife. Overpopulation and an economic state that makes it impossible for poor rural and urban families to procure domestic meat is the single most significant factor in the continually diminishing wildlife population. Add to the very real human need for protein, the inexorable demand for agricultural land, the wanton destruction caused by trophy hunting, the insatiable desire for animal-based curatives of all sorts, and the mindless acquisitions of souvenirs made with animal parts, and it is easy to see why African wildlife is in a state of crisis.

The numbers speak for themselves. In 1930 the elephant population was between 5-10 million; today it is estimated at somewhere around 300,000 to 600,000. In 1960, the African white rhino population was estimated at 100,000; today, that number is around 2,700. The African wild dog is critically endangered, with only about 3,000 surviving animals; the cheetah, another endangered species, remains in small number of about 10,000 individuals. Lion numbers are largely estimated, but seem to indicate that from the 400,000 that roamed the continent in the 1950's, only about 50,000 remain. The list doesn't stop at the very large herbivores and the carnivores: primates, small carnivores, and antelopes are under constant threat, because they are valued as bushmeat and trophies while birds, reptiles, and insects are disappearing as a consequence of habitat destruction and ecosystem destabilization.

Please, visit our Wildlife Action page to learn more about our activities, and join us in our efforts to halt the destruction of our natural heritage.

 

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