Bushmeat Poaching - a Consequence of Poverty

Bushmeat poaching_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

Along the roadways of central and west Africa, the prevalence of bushmeat poaching is very apparent as a wide variety of species from small antelope, monkeys and even dwarf crocodiles are seen hanging from posts that advertise their sale to passing motorists.

In the numerous towns and villages, informal markets run a thriving trade with greater quantities and a wider variety of species of poached animals being on offer. It is very easy to quickly become judgmental about the wide availability of this bushmeat, but when we consider the extreme levels of poverty and the limited options for alternative livelihoods, we have to start thinking differently.

When a family has to suffer the consequences of continually declining poverty, they will do anything to improve their chances of survival. It is these levels of poverty that create the poaching pandemic and allow the criminal networks and corrupt officials to easily manipulate the communities. Integrated approaches to tackling the poaching must also include community upliftment and beneficiary programs!