The scale of wildlife trade is so large that many species that fall victim to the trade are often left out of the subject because their significance and value to the environment may be lower than that of others. There are hundreds of different species that are affected from the trade but some have certain physical qualities that are of value in the market. People often exploit these animals and it causes heavy declines on populations. Elephants and Rhinos are the highest priority on the national agenda because of their sentimental value to the culture as well as the value of their tusks.
Most of the policymaking and campaigning that is done for the wildlife trade is geared toward the trafficking of elephant and rhino ivory. There was an article released on the Wildlife Conservation Societies page called the “Lesser Known Species Fall Victim to The Illegal Ivory Trade” (PolicyInnovations.org). It considers other species that have been severely impacted due to the trade. Many people have realized the strictness of regulation on markets and distribution of ivory but there are many other species of wildlife that are being exploited for economic profits.
The article describes a few other species that are being severely affected due to the trade. Each species of animal is of value in different ways, which is why they also have a competitive market. The species they discuss are the Pangolin which looks very similar to an armadillo and has a similar protective shell that people use to make clothes and other materials. They also talk about an animal called a slow loris and people buy them to keep as pets. The other species they talk about is tortoises. Many of the worlds tortoise and turtle populations are declining from poaching. They are exploited for the material their shell is made of.
This article pointed out a major aspect of media. Only the aspects of the issue that gain people’s attention due to a personal connection or interest are the ones that gain the most attention and credibility. Many people have a personal connection to elephants and rhinos because they are an iconic symbol of the African environment and ecosystem. They are in most zoos and people from all over the world have a personal interest or connection to these animals. The animals that don’t have this connection or value get the short end of the deal. Elephants and rhinos and some have specific legislation and policies to protect them but the other species that don’t receive this national coverage don’t receive help.
The article portrays how one aspect of a problem may be considered more important than another aspect due to its natural perception. Animals are being affected all over the world, some are experiencing greater declines than elephants and rhinos but they receive little attention because people want elephants and rhinos to survive because of that connection. It also portrays how vast an issue can be. The article puts it into perspective how vast the problem is at the national level and how hard it can be to gain attention about another particular species or ecosystem.
This article definitely wants to show the importance of endangered species on the global level and start encouraging the public to focus on a different species besides the elephant since there is already legislation implemented to help protect their populations. The article is also very objective and speaks about how these particular species don’t receive much attention. They don’t necessarily say that we should cut back conservation efforts with elephants and rhinos because there populations in some areas have been steady. What the average viewer might not know is that there are many different regions where poaching takes place and many of them are habitats to elephants and rhinos. What this article really failed to deliver to the reader is that the Pangolin and slow loris are not nearly of the same value to the environment as elephants and rhinos are. Elephants and Rhinos are large animals with a massive presence they are an important species in there habitats, they create niches for other species and act as a keystone species in some ways which attracts more organisms and creates greater biodiversity.
There is a reason that elephants and rhinos are the species with the most intensive regulation worldwide. The importance of one elephant or rhino can mean a lot for the environment as a whole compared to saving one slow loris from being kept as a pet. Another big aspect as to why Elephants and Rhinos are so important is because when they are poached they are slaughtered on sight and their tusks are taken. You can save a slow loris or turtle from captivity but you can’t bring a herd of elephants back from the dead. This type of media can be appealing to many viewers by the emotional aspect it has when you see the other species populations declining. Media can try and persuade the audience in a different direction, which may or may not be the right direction. The article doesn’t make a clear point on the importance of the different species to their ecosystems and why it would be beneficial to help them instead. The article definitely hits out at the mass coverage done on elephants and rhinos and encourages people to pay attention to other sides of the problem. It demonstrates how hard it can be to influence a group of people to create a public opinion. The problem associated with this is the wildlife trade is a fairly new issue and the trade is constantly evolving so it is difficult to decide where and how to allocate resources.