Q: What is the impact of poaching on wildlife populations?

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Answer from Dr. K. Ullas Karanth: The most severe impact of poaching is that it depresses wildlife populations. Many species get hunted down to levels below which their populations are not viable. Poaching also has secondary impacts. If herbivores such as deer, gaur, and wild pig are killed without respite, a tigress, which needs to make about 50 or 60 kills a year to survive, won’t be able to raise her cubs. The third thing is, when we take species out of a wildlife community, we are not even sure what the ultimate impact will be. You may be taking out a species of civet or a species of bird that is crucial for pollinating a tree or dispersing its seeds. Rampant poaching is dismantling, at random, a very intricate piece of machinery that nature has built over millions of years, the consequences of which we do not even fully comprehend… (read the full interview with Dr. Karanth)

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