Poaching is a pervasive global problem, and iconic mammals like elephants and rhinos are hit hard by illegal hunting. This is especially true in the world’s poorest countries and within protected areas, researchers reported recently in PLOS ONE.
Protected areas, such as national parks and wildlife refuges, are “the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation,” the researchers write. Yet many countries lack the resources to properly manage these sanctuaries. And in poor countries, people turn to the illegal wildlife trade out of financial necessity.