A deadly crisis is spreading across Southeast Asia, silently draining forests of wildlife and threatening species with extinction.
The greatest threat to wildlife is almost invisible and does not discriminate in killing or injuring any animal that crosses its path. Poachers set lethal traps, cheap traps made of wire, rope or cable, to capture animals for the illegal wildlife trade. Traps now threaten 80% of Southeast Asian mammal species. Tragically, species can suffer for days before dying from injury, infection, or starvation.
Human activities pose serious threats to wildlife in places that should protect them from harm. The number of wild animals has more than halved since 1970 and species are disappearing at an alarming rate. From elephants raising their young in common to lions hunting collaboratively, nature offers amazing displays of wildlife working together towards a common goal.
Jaguars are losing their home in the Amazon to natural resource extraction, agriculture and illegal logging. The arctic home of polar bears is receding, melting beneath their feet from a warming planet. Sea turtles are caught in fishing gear, their eggs are poached and many are slaughtered for their shells.
The reality is that the fate of our wildlife is in the hands of only one species: humans. Millions of species on our planet are essential to our own lives. This complex web of life provides the natural systems we depend on and makes our lives richer in many ways.
Humans have the power to reverse this loss of nature and create a future where wildlife and people thrive again. For more information: worldwildlife.org