How to Stop Wildlife Poachers

May 25, 2012

WCS VP for Species Conservation Liz Bennett details efforts to combat the illegal wildlife trade and highlights the urgent need for additional security forces to slow and ultimately reverse the decimation of myriad charismatic species.

Over the past 20 years, chimpanzees, gorillas and other great apes have declined the most in areas lacking a security force to protect them. Conversely, parks and protected areas with armed guards and anti-poaching patrols — places like Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda — have not only retained their ape populations, but have seen population increases.

This only makes sense. We don’t leave our valuables unprotected. Guards patrol art galleries and museums to secure our cultural heritage. We should be taking the same approach to safeguarding our natural heritage.
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