Last year, tiger poaching in India jumped to its highest levels in 15 years. The spike was the result of killings by gangs of poachers, tigers being snared by locals trying to trap other animals for food, and by cutbacks in anti-poaching efforts because of budget cuts.
At the beginning of the 20th century, there were about 500,000 rhinos across Africa and Asia. By 1970, the number was down to 70,000. Today, there are less than 30,000 rhinos in the wild. The number of black rhinos dropped to as low as 2,300 in 1993. Aggressive conservation efforts have brought their numbers up to over 5,000 today.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, hunters legally kill tens of millions of animals every year. But hunters also illegally kill just as many animals – if not more – often either on closed lands or out of season. Few perpetrators of this deadly crime against wildlife are ever caught or punished.
We hear more and more about drones these days. There is plenty of controversy about their use in warfare. Drones are also used to snoop on construction projects. Drones are spotted at the beach being used as high-tech toys. And drones are becoming a powerful tool in wildlife protection.