In the face of a global pandemic, how can conservation efforts reduce the chance that poaching will spread disease?

As the Covid-19 pandemic decimates tourism, poaching is on the rise in Africa. The search is on for alternative ways to meet communities’ basic needs.

Photo courtesy of Wikiseal from Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
“The solution to addressing poaching lies in communities — involving them as game guards, making sure they benefit from wildlife, that the costs of living with wildlife are minimized, and ensuring they have alternative ways of making a living other than poaching,” says Dilys Roe, a principal researcher for the International Institute for Environment and Development. Photo of a park ranger courtesy of ILRI/Mann from Flickr, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
When Covid began spreading around the world, many swiftly called for global bans to wet markets as well as wildlife trade. But others say that response is reactionary, short-sighted and extremely inequitable to local and indigenous people. Photo courtesy of ILRI/Mann from Flickr, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“Some of the wildlife agencies and NGOs had some funding reserves, but those are going to start running out pretty quickly. We do expect that while 2020 has been tough, that 2021 will be tougher.” –Peter Lindsey

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