Many of us cannot imagine a planet without some of its species, especially the wild and most fascinating. However, in some regions of the world this is beginning to become a sad reality. Poaching against animals such as rhinos, elephants, gorillas or tigers has already endangered thousands of species in the world for a long time and some of them are beginning to disappear. It is becoming necessary to implement policies and hire personnel to work to combat this poaching and protect wildlife from extinction.
The poaching or illegal hunting of animals is a much more common practice in regions such as South America, Africa and Southeast Asia , because they are continents very rich in biodiversity , with animal species that cannot be found in other regions of the planet. It is precisely in these areas of illegal hunting where there is no strict control of these activities or the adequate means are not available to combat them.
It is precisely in underdeveloped countries where some of its inhabitants carry out this activity as a way of life, either for food or for the illegal trafficking of species (one of the businesses that generates the most money in the world), but there is also sport hunting . Millionaire entrepreneurs, politicians or influential people of all kinds are the most fond of these illegal activities, either out of boredom, sports or to close business relationships, among other issues.
Some well-known personalities have already been “hunted” practicing this activity, such as politicians and even kings who have been seen hunting elephants in an African safari , or an American dentist, who hunted one of the most emblematic lions of Zimbabwe named Cecil (13 years ).
Another known case was that of poachers who sneaked into Tsavo National Park (Kenya), killing five endangered elephants, leaving their bodies abandoned and found without their tusks. Elephant hunting is one of the most common in these regions, to supply the demand for ivory , which is used for medicinal purposes (although without scientific basis), in addition to being used in decorative and expensive items. These are some of the cases that have jumped to the media, but the examples are innumerable.
In addition, due to the serious state of many species currently due to this practice, there is also talk of poaching of endangered animals , since although they are categorized within this risk range, they are still hunted illegally.
In order to fight against the illegal hunting of animals , the UN passed a resolution that obliges countries to make a commitment to fight and reduce poaching and illegal animal trafficking. This document was promoted by Gabon and Germany and signed by 84 member countries of the UN .
The objective of this resolution is to promote laws and toughen judicial processes, involving local organizations in their promotion, to consider poaching as a serious crime . It is a document that comes at a key moment, since at this time there are very high-profile cases of illegal hunting.
Artificial intelligence to fight poaching
In collaboration with the National Science Foundation, the University of Southern California has developed an application called PAWS (Protection Assistance for Wildlife Security) , an application that uses mathematical algorithms to solve problems, crossing historical data from surveillance patrols with the presence of hunters, thus finding out the behavior patterns of the poachers and suggesting to the guards the paths to them.
Since PAWS uses data to find poachers , the more data you give it, the better it will function. These data are provided by the surveillance patrols themselves, such as the number of hunters and the exact location where they were found.
Some Anti-Poaching Measures You Can Take
Apart from the above, what other measures can those who wonder how to avoid poaching of animals take ? Here are some ideas for it:
- Increase the number of patrols and provide them with the necessary equipment to fight against poachers.
- Ban the marketing of ivory.
- Fight against the illegal trade in animals. If hunters have no market, this activity will decrease.
- Stop buying products made with species that are in danger of extinction, such as their skins.
- Acquire products correctly certified by the governments of each country.
- Learn about threatened species and the problem of illegal hunting and trafficking. The more information we have, the more aware we will be of the problem.