Poaching is one of the world’s most critical problems. Its geographic reach is unparalleled and its impact so devastatingly quite that no one feels the full force of it until it is too late. Much of the developed world has been stripped off its flora and fauna due to incessant and unbridled march of development. The developing world is no stranger to poaching having been the principal target for centuries due to its rich biodiversity. Africa and Asia are the two main theatres of poaching activities, but the latter continent particularly faces a greater risk due to cultures that believe animal skin, blood and bones have medicinal properties. Environmental imbalance caused by a fast decline of species will spell doom for our planet but are you concerned?
1. Nepalese Royal Forestry Department officers with seized tiger and snow leopard skins at the barracks of Chitwan National Park.
2. Journalists photographing a pangolin from a shipment of the species intercepted at Bangkok’s international airport
3. An ivory elephant tusk on display in an antique shop
4. In Vietnam tourists relishing snake blood
5. Skulls of tiger and monkey besides other wildlife products on sale in Thakhilek, Burma, a smuggling center
6. On the lookout: Nepalese soldiers riding an elephant in Chitwan National Park at dawn
7. The rope separates India from far western Nepal and marks a major smuggling route for poached animals
8. A National Cambodian Forestry Department soldier patrols the Sre Ambel delta region in Bokor National Park
9. Imprisoned poachers arrested for poaching in Chitwan National Park, Nepal
10. The land where it goes: A pile of live tortoises at the Qingping Medicine Market, Guangzhou, China
11. A stuffed tiger on display in a Chinese medicine shop, Phan Thiet, Vietnam
12. Saved? In Guangdong, China, a crocodile lies in its cage in a zoo
13. A Nepali officer holds a rhino skull. Skins of poached animals can be seen in the background. A seized five-year stockpile is worth USD 750,000
14. A handcuff poacher in Bokor, Cambodia
Credit: From the book ‘Trading to Extinction’ by Patrick Brown, a multi award-winning English photographer based in Thailand. The book is available here.