Updated: Jan 13, 2019
Happy Thanksgiving to our friends and supporters this holiday season from all of us at Stop Poaching Now! As we gather around the table with our loved ones, we give thanks for all the good in our lives and around the world.
The fight against poaching is ongoing, but we too often forget to be thankful for the positive steps we’ve taken and appreciate how far we’ve come. This Thanksgiving, here are a few things we at SPN are thankful for.
The tiger population in Nepal has nearly doubled. The Nepalese government tiger census found 235 of the country’s tigers roaming the mountains of the Himalayas, up from 121 in 2009. Increased local awareness in collaboration with conservation efforts and increased security contributed to the increase. With this recent increase, Nepal is on track to be the first country to reach the goal of doubling its tiger population by 2022.
Jaguar populations in Latin America continue to either expand or hold steady across the region. Latin American jaguar populations have grown at an average annual rate of nearly 8% from 2002-2016 in studied field sites. In Bolivia’s Madidi National Park alone, the density of jaguars increased by 3-fold. Habitat depletion and conflict with the local population led to rapid decreases in jaguar populations, but conservation efforts are helping this animal recover its natural territory.
In Western Equatorial Africa, western lowland gorillas and central chimpanzees populations appear to be larger than previously though. After conducting the longest-ever survey of great apes in the region, scientists now estimate that there are 1/3 more gorillas and 1/10 more chimpanzees than previously though.
Rhino poaching numbers have substantially decreased in South Africa in 2018. In 2017, 691 rhinos were poached over an eight-month period. During that same period this year, 508 rhinos were poached, a decrease of about 26%.
Kenya is seeing a similar reduction in instances of rhino and elephant poaching. In 2016, the country lost 14 rhinos and 96 elephants to poachers. However, those numbers dropped to 9 rhinos and 60 elephants in 2017, and the pushback against poaching has continued into 2018.
These are only a handful of the successes we’ve achieved around the world. While we are thankful for these achievements, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure the safety and survival of all the animals on our planet. As SPN continues to work every day towards their protection, we hope you’ll join us in our fight to stop poaching now.
From all of us at SPN, we wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday.