Man – top predator and protection of wild animals
According to a study by an international team of scientists, man hunts about 15,000 species of vertebrates or one-third of all vertebrate species on Earth. This is five to 300 times more than the number of species preyed on by other predators with a wide geographical range, such as sharks, birds of prey and carnivorous mammals. The human impact on the environment is 1,300 times greater than that of other comparable predators. Humans exploit 43% of marine species studied, approximately 35% of freshwater and 26% of terrestrial species. Approx. half of the species that man hunts serve as food. Others are used to produce clothing, animal feed, poisons and chemicals. A lot of prey becomes pets, which surprised researchers. This diverse range of human exploitation threatens nearly 40% of the species used by humans.
Weighing 12 tons and showing the fight against poachers, the pile of snares and metal traps was laid by employees of the Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF), a charity organisation dealing with wildlife protection. The pile was created over 12 months during Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park activities. Below are the so-called bear traps, used by poachers to catch elephants, hippos and lions, and wire traps are put on top for smaller animals. Over the last ten years, the rangers have removed about 47 tonnes of snares and traps. Illegally caught animals are sold to criminal rings involved in smuggling wild animal meat, ivory and live wild animals.