Hunting has always been recognized as being very detrimental to animal populations, but a new study shows that its effects might be even worse than expected. Specifically, the study addresses the effects of hunting related to the bushmeat trade, which is the illegal over-hunting and consumption of wildlife for meat. Although it is true that some rural populations depend on this bushmeat, a large portion of it is hunted for income or for other unnecessary reasons. This problem is most common in Africa and some other parts of the world since there aren’t laws restricting hunting like there are in the US. This new report found that there are 301 species at risk of becoming extinct as a result of the bushmeat trade. This excessive hunting would be much less of an issue if it were not also coupled with over anthropocenic issues like habitat loss. According to an article published by The Guardian based on this report, these 301 species include “a quarter of all endangered mammals.” (For the full The Guardian article, click here. Also featured in this article are some words by Professor David Macdonald of the University of Oxford, who states that although the problem of habitat loss is also a major one, there is no point of preserving habitats if they are going to end up being empty. Finally, as with any other issue in the Anthropocene, there are still ways to fix this problem. The US Fish and Wildlife Services explain that the Great Ape Conservation Fund is helping to raise money to address this problem in Africa. The Fish and Wildlife Services are also helping by developing law enforcement partnerships to keep the excessive hunting at bay, as well as improving education and protecting habitats.
Of course, there are also ways anyone can help fix this issue. In addition to helping to raise awareness, anyone can also help donate to the Great Ape Conservation Fund by following the instructions on their website; in fact, donators can even designate what animal or animals you want your funds to go towards helping.