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Fighting Wildlife Crime With Science And Technology

by Portal Web Editor last modified Sep 30, 2016 11:53 PM
Contributors: Rowen, Mary
Copyright © 2016 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc
It’s hard to imagine a world without majestic wildlife roaming Africa’s savannahs. More and more, however, the unimaginable seems to be taking root - and it is unsettling beyond belief.

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Years ago, I had the privilege of studying wildlife in Kenya as a graduate student. While I was researching Grevy’s zebra, I observed other amazing species: elephant, gerenuk, and lion, as they searched for food and water while their land and water sources became more scarce. Habitat loss was one of the biggest threats to wildlife then, and it continues now to be a major threat: as agricultural activity and industry increase, there is less space for wildlife.

We have the ability to maintain healthy wildlife populations in their habitats by marrying sustainable development with biodiversity conservation. Almost 20 years ago, I joined the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow to learn how to better integrate conservation and development. During my tenure, I’ve observed enormous success in community conservation, with more land put under conservation to the benefit of both local people and wildlife. I’ve seen growing wildlife populations and more secure and prosperous communities with whom they share their land.

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