Poaching, the illegal hunting and harvesting of animals, has a devastating effect on both the individual species and on entire ecosystems and local communities. Additionally, continued poaching encourages and supports the black market and organized crime organizations that thrive on victimizing animals.Know More
Poachers kill for profit, not for sustenance or community support. In many cases, they do not even require the entire animal, but only parts to be used as trinkets, luxury items or ostensible medicine sources. Such items include elephant tusks, rhinoceros horns, big-horned sheep antlers and bear gall bladders. Because poachers care little for species survival, their hunting often leads to radical decreases in animal populations. In 2013, for example, One Green Planet reported the poaching of around 30,000 elephants in a single year.
Poaching hurts local communities in two potential ways. First, if the animal targeted draws in tourists, its disappearance may harm the local economy. Similarly, possible tourist boycotts intended to end the poaching could have the same effect.
The effect of poaching on individual ecosystems is equally damaging, often unbalancing natural and essential relationships between predators, prey and vegetation. For example, the near extinction of the North American gray wolf due to hunting allowed for an unbridled elevation in the elk population of Yellowstone National Park. The unchecked elk then went on to eat the aspen tree to near extinction. Only when the wolf population began recovering was balance restored.Learn more about Human Impact
Rhino poaching refers to the illegal hunting of rhinoceros in Africa, primarily because of an increase in the demand for a traditional Chinese medicine that is made from the powder of rhinoceros horn. According to Save the Rhino, an animal that boasted a population of more than 500,000 throughout the world early in the 1900s is in danger of extinction, despite aggressive efforts to fight the practice of poaching. In 2011, the Western black rhino was declared to be extinct, primarily as a result of poaching.Full Answer >
Nuclear waste affects the environment primarily because it's extremely difficult to dispose of properly. If it isn't disposed of properly, it can cause extensive groundwater and soil contamination. The elements that make up nuclear waste often have long half-lives, which means that it may take millions or billions of years before the waste is safe for humans to be around.Full Answer >
Green waste disposal involves taking green waste materials to landfills and recycling centers where it is converted into compost and mulch. Green waste is made up of bush and shrub clippings, lawn cuttings, garden waste and leaves. People who have their green waste picked up should not add rocks, dirt, paper or food waste in recycling containers.Full Answer >
Several efforts have been made stop global warming, including campaigns to raise awareness about environmental issues, advancements in resource saving technology, scientific research and legislation. According to the Washington Post, a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found many Americans favor changes made to stop global warming.Full Answer >