STATES CHRONICLE – Wildlife biologists have come to the conclusion that more female African elephants are born tuskless due to many years of ivory poaching.
A group of experts conducted an extensive field research to establish how badly African elephants were affected by poaching. Based on the study findings, the scientists discovered that poaching altered the gene pool in those animals.
More precisely, in some locations, around 98 percent of female elephants have been born tuskless. A few decades ago, just between two and six percent of these female elephants were born with this genetic mutation.
According to the scientists, these animals are now even more endangered than before because they depend on their tusks to search for food and to defend themselves. Based on the estimates released by another survey, around 65 percent of the vertebrate species, including mammals, reptiles, fish, birds, and amphibians, might become extinct by 2020.
This problem is caused by human impact. Some specialists underline that although the Earth can host up to 40 billion people, their actions have a negative effect on the world’s wildlife population. These animals are crucial to the health of oceans, rivers, and forests, meaning that their extinction would cause a massive imbalance in many of the world’s ecosystems.
To address some of these issues, the U.S. has recently prohibited the importation of lion trophies from Africa. Because South Africa proved to be unable to stop lion hunting, the Fish and Wildlife officials decided to impose the ban.
There are currently around 2,300 South African lions left in the wild, as well as 800 more in game reserves. In addition, there are also 6,000 captive bred lions worth a fortune if they are sold in China.
Another conservation effort consists of the fact that biologists aim to train Tanzanian rats, which will sniff out traps set by poachers. This way, scientists will be able to save not just African elephants and rhinos, but also pangolins, a species which is critically endangered.
Fortunately, other parts of the world are doing better, especially Antarctica where the largest marine reserve hosts hundreds of species of mammals and fish, including whales, seals, and penguins. This marine reserve covers an area the size of Germany, France, and Britain.