The ivory trade has already devastated the rhinoceros population, which currently sits at around 29,000 (down from about 500,000 in the early 1900s). The death of a white rhino at the San Diego Zoo last month left the total number of that rhino species remaining on Earth at just three.
It’s not just the animals that are at risk.
Big-game poaching often disrupts tourism for countries that depend on it, as the growing scarcity of wildlife to view and the possibility of violence dissuades potential visitors. Fewer visitors means increased local poverty and staff cutbacks at national parks, which can lead to even more poaching.