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Animals Primarily Targeted for Poaching in the United States

The affects of poaching in North America on Bear, Puma, and Birds of Prey

Illegal hunting to meet the demands of the international trade in wildlife and wildlife parts has taken a toll on populations of species in North America from the moment settlers first touched American soil, through the present (“Poachers Threaten Wildlife”). This type of activity is poaching or the hunting and killing of any animal illegally (Journal of Wildlife Management, 1999). We intend to show the effects of poaching on the environment, why people are poaching, and why bears, mountain lions, and birds of prey are specific targets.

Besides the local problem of hunting beyond the regulated season, most prize animals such as bear, puma, and birds of prey serve as symbols of wealth in the illegal trade of animal parts. For example, the gall bladder of the American Black Bear is worth more than dope in the Orient and other overseas markets. Trophy heads, furs, paws, and feathers of eagles and other birds of prey bring enormous profits to poachers of North America (“Poachers Threaten Wildlife”.) In the words of Peter Verney:

The story of man on earth is one of competition, often of conflict, not only with his own kind but with the animal kingdom and the resources of the natural world. Our primitive ancestors saw wild animals as providing their meat, their clothing and much of the material of their existence. They hunted and killed when the need arose…and they came to worship and respect the quarry which enabled them to exist.

The major problem in the present day is that humanities conflict with the natural world is no longer to sustain existence. Commercial poaching is the second greatest threat to North American wildlife, after habitat loss (“Anti-Poaching Program”). As poached items remain popular in numerous nations worldwide, the great wild animals of our country are in a constant state of endangerment.

Works Cited

“Anti-Poaching Program.” Mountain Lion Foundation. October 2002. (see 1st web link)

Journal of Wildlife Management. Vol. 63, No. 3, July 1999. Bethesda MD.

Verney, Peter. Animals in Peril. Great Britain: Mills & Boon Ltd., 1979.

Waugh, Jeff. “Poachers Threaten Wildlife.” Banff National Park- Wildlife. 1 Oct. 2002 (see 2nd web link)

Puma photo courtesy of Dr. Marcella Kelly, Wildlife Science Department, Va. Tech.

The members in this group project include:

Lorien Koontz, Justin Brittin, Ian Jewett and Tosh Barnette

**Click Here to See Our Powerpoint Presentation**

Web Links for MORE Information

“Anti-Poaching Program” Mountain Lion Foundation
“Poachers Threaten Wildlife.” Banff National Park- Wildlife
"Americas Combine Against Poaching" North American Wildlife Enforcement Group”
"CANADA-ENVIRONMENT: Poaching Threatens Bear Population"
"History of Poaching: An Age-Long Practice"