Stop Elephant Poachers from Poisoning Vultures to Evade Authorities

Target: Pohamba Shifeta, Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism in Namibia

Goal: Alert Namibian wildlife authorities of poachers’ most recent atrocities

In an attempt to evade wildlife authorities and arrest, poachers of African elephants have sunk to new lows. Vultures circling overheard usually alert authorities to the locations of elephant poaching activities, so  poachers across the continent are killing the birds by lacing elephant carcasses with cheap poison. In Namibia in particular, each elephant slain has meant the accompanying death of several hundred vultures.

Putting this brutality into an environmental context reveals a grave situation. Eleven species of vultures are in danger of going extinct. Being extremely specialized, the birds are long-lived and reproduce slowly, having only one chick every other year. According to a recent report in National Geographic, vulture populations are crashing all across the African continent.

We should care, says Darcy Ogada of the Peregrine Fund, because these birds play an invaluable ecological role. “They are nature’s most efficient and effective clean-up crew. They go about their daily business without any fanfare.” In other words, we are polluting our world, and now we are killing off the ones who are cleaning up after us.

By signing the petition below, you can unmask the ugly truth behind poaching – the reason why we must end it once and for all. Poaching doesn’t just take out a single, charismatic animal – although this is worse enough as it is. Rather, poaching claims the behind-the-scenes workers, the less glamorous animals we might take for granted. And it’s a vicious cycle that we must stop, now.

Dear Hon. Pohamba Shifeta, Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism in Namibia,

I am writing out of concern for poachers’ recent tactics to evade arrest. Vultures flying overhead alert wildlife authorities to poaching activities, so poachers of African elephants are setting traps for the birds by putting cheap poison in elephant carcasses. This latest atrocity exposes the ugly truth behind poaching – the reason why we must end it once and for all.

11 species of vultures are in danger of going extinct. Being extremely specialized, the birds are long-lived and reproduce slowly, having only one chick every other year. According to a recent National Geographic report, populations are crashing all across the continent.

This latest atrocity exposes the ugly truth behind poaching – the reason why we must end it once and for all. The effects of poaching go beyond the felling of a single, great animal; although this is heinous as it is. By eliminating those that clean up after our messes, poaching disrupts the fundamental balance that our planet and our people depend on. I urge you to stress policies of strict vigilance among local community groups responsible for national nature conservancies while you investigate this atrocity further. Your leadership is essential in stopping the mass killing of these invaluable birds and breaking the vicious cycle of poaching.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Vince Smith via Flickr

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  • alper arslan
  • jeff hopkins
  • Alexandr Yantselovskiy
  • Karina tarpinian
  • ann verbruggen
  • Pancracio Quispe
  • mark bastian
  • ber kavanagh
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