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On World Ranger Day, we laud the men and women who risk their lives to protect wildlife and wild places around the world.
By John G. Robinson
The illegal wildlife trade is big business. Not including the illegal trade in timber, it exceeds $19 billion annually. The trade is heavily capitalized and is part of the same criminal networks that are involved in drugs, weapons and human trafficking. While the impacts on wildlife populations – including elephants, tigers, and fish species – are widely known, the effects on human livelihoods, community integrity, income-generating jobs, sustainable development, and national economies are equally pervasive.
The markhor is an endangered wild goat occurring in southern Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, and India. It is categorized as endangered on the IUCN Red List and listed under Appendix I of CITES. But in Tajikistan, people have come together to protect this wild goat with towering horns to the benefit of the one…
Relentless poaching is threatening to claim more rhinos in South Africa this year than ever before. But there is hope that a comprehensive strategy to fight the criminals could start reversing the sickening trend.
The grasslands of Russia and Kazakhstan are host to an animal that has roamed the earth since the Ice Age, but may soon become extinct: the saiga, a hump-nosed antelope whose population has declined by more than 95 percent since the early 1990s. The critically endangered saiga, which stands just about two feet tall, is in…