Loss of ecosystem services

The depletion of megafauna such as elephant and rhino can significantly impact ecological processes involving vegetation, hydrology, nutrient cycling, and firebreaks; which in turn have detrimental cascading effects on other species.  Elephants and rhinos are the architects of the landscape – the ecological engineers that create conditions essential for the survival of many other species.


Many African countries have prioritised tourism as a major sector for driving economic growth, employment creation & poverty reduction.  Therefore poaching of flagship species robs states and communities of their natural assets; it undermines sustainable economic development, and has serious economic and social consequences that threaten the livelihoods of communities dependent on wildlife tourism and natural resource.

Terrorism & criminal organisations

A UNEP Assessment published in 2014 estimated annual income from ivory to militias, operating in the entire Sub-Saharan range, to be in the order of US$ 4.0–12.2 millionSome of this profit feeds in to well known terrorist organisations and organised crime, such as drug cartels, human trafficking and money laundering.