There are lots of articles about illegal poaching and its effects on wildlife. However, this article from a week ago broaches the idea that illegal poaching is not only detrimental to wildlife but could also be threatening national security. Poachers use similar organized crime channels as drug and arms smugglers. Furthermore, there is apparently evidence that the money obtained from illegal poaching is used to fund terrorist cells in unstable African countries. Hillary Clinton upgraded illegal poaching from a conservation issue to a national security threat because the high-tech weapons being used for poaching could also be used on people if issues escalate.
Illegal poaching is a 19 billion dollar market, and it is obvious that poaching is in response to consumer desire. Although, yes, lots of progress would be made by implementing military force, it is probably not likely that this issue will take precedence anytime soon. The United States is apparently the 2nd largest destination for endangered wildlife products. I’m a big believer that it takes the general population to take a stand and not just rely on the government to do it for them. Hence, please be sure you know what you are buying and that you are not willingly or unknowingly contributing to this awful demand and supply dynamic.
Photo from Wiki Commons: Donald Macauley