The Endangered Series: Elephant
- Poaching and illegal wildlife trade: Even though there are regulations and bans on elephant ivory, there are still unregulated domestic ivory markets fueling the illegal international trades. In turn, both African and Asian elephants are being hunted for their ivory. There is also a market for other elephant products like skin, tail hair and meat.
- Habitat loss and fragmentation: Average of 70% of Asian elephants are being found outside of protected areas. Plantations, industry, mines, roads and farming etc have squeezed elephant populations into smaller spaces of forest surrounded by human settlements.
- Anti-poaching initiatives: Community and government rangers and game guards help protect endangered species like elephants.
- Ivory trade ban: China has recently banned ivory trade, which helps greatly reducing the numbers of elephant poaching. It is, although, still a long way to control all the smuggling.
- Community projects: Many NGOs like Sheldrick Wildlife Trust are also focusing on projects like aerial surveillance, community outreach and orphans projects to take care of elephants and other endangered species locally.
The Endangered Series: Tiger
Our first animal in the endangered series, we are celebrating an overall increasing number of these wild animals after a century of decline. However, in some areas including Southeast Asia, tigers are still in crisis and need a lot more work. We hope to bring awareness to it.
- Demands of the $20 billion a year illegal wildlife market. Tiger parts are consumed for traditional medicinal purposes across Asia.
- Wild tigers are persecuted when villagers take retaliatory measures to protect their livestock and communities.
- Their habitats are increasingly under threat from agricultural developments, especially monocultures like palm oil plantations.
- Tiger has been protected under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since 1 July 1975 which means commercial international trade in tiger is prohibited.
- At the Tiger Summit held in St Petersburg, Russia in November 2010, the 13 tiger range countries adopted a Global Tiger Recovery Program. The goal is to effectively double the number of wild Tigers by 2022.
- Many conservation organisations are also actively working with range countries in Asia to address the most serious threats to tigers, which include direct killing, depletion of prey, and habitat loss and fragmentation.
The Overshoot: 4Earths
The idea of this illustration comes from Earth Overshoot Day. It is an initiative of Global Footprint Network, that marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.
In simple terms, we are consuming more resources than we should.
On a global average, we are at a state where we need 1.6 planets to meet our needs. However, according to a publication by WWF in 2019, if everyone led the lifestyle of Hong Kongers, we need 4.2 Earths to sustain our consumption habits, an increase from 2016’s figure of 3.9 Earths.