How the COVID-19 pandemic affects wildlife – The Perfect World Foundation

How the COVID-19 pandemic affects wildlife

Wildlife rescue- and conservation projects are in an urgent need of support due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Perfect World Foundation is now launching the Corona AID fundraising campaign, where 100% of the funds raised go directly to the animal projects that have been affected by the crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All donations make a difference – small or large!

Poaching increases rapidly

No revenue from tourism results in drastic financial losses for National Parks and they are now struggling to pay wages to the park rangers. There is a great risk that several park rangers will lose their jobs and thereby wildlife will be unprotected. Tourism also protects wildlife to stay safe from poachers as they act as extra eyes for park rangers – few poachers kill an animal in front of a tourist. A rhino horn can be sold for SEK 600,000 a kilo on the black market and it is therefore crucial to secure the income of park rangers so that they are not forced into poaching for financial reasons.

Wildlife trade is increasing

In some parts of Asia, there is a misleading belief that animal parts from exotic animals have a healing effect. A well-known example of this is the belief that rhino horn can cure impotence. The horns, like nails, consist of keratin and have no medical effect. The COVID-19 pandemic now leads to increased demand for alternative medicines and the industry for, among other things, bear bile is now thriving in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lack of food and medicine

Animals that are injured and under care in wildlife rescue- and conservation projects are in need of protection, food, and medicine. The COVID-19 pandemic makes it difficult to buy much-needed medicine and food to give the animals a chance to survive. This can be, for example, milk for elephant babies whose parents died due to poaching.

Risk of virus spread

The new coronavirus has already infected several animal species, and for some species, the virus can be deadly. The highest risk is probably for the already vulnerable primates, which share up to 98% of our human DNA and therefore can be infected by the same virus as humans. The Perfect World Foundation has received emergency calls from our project in Congo, which is working to secure the survival of bonobos. Both the staff and the bonobos have now been quarantined to protect the animals, and the closure means financial loss and the project is now in an economic crisis.

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