The modern implications between ancient Nile River Sports and the unfortunate environmental effects these continued practices are having on the region is undoubtedly a hard thing to stomach for those who enjoy the diversity of life and nature present throughout the world. However habitat loss as a result of a growing human population has been a significant factor for several species near- extinction, I will discuss three animals susceptible to poaching which is more related to ancient Nile sports.
The Nile crocodile was almost hunted to extinction for creating exceptional leather out of its tough skin, for meat, and also medicinal purposes. Another amazing creature that has been poached to near-extinction is the Black Rhinoceros. The horns are sought for a variety of purposes such as medicinal, fighting off poisons, and also for luxury. It was in 1970 that the Rhino population really started to drop. A dagger with a hilt carved out of Rhino horn is a symbol of wealth and status for men in Yemen. When the oil prices skyrocketed, the per capita income increased seven-fold allowing a large proportion of the male population to afford these daggers. The basic idea of supply and demand can be applied here; the more people could afford these daggers, the more Rhinos were poached. Incredibly, a set of horns from one Rhino would go for as much as 50,000 dollars. Another sad tale on this topic includes the constant exponential decline in respect to the cat count. Leopards and Lions are threatened as a result of human contact, loss of habitat, prey decline, trophy hunting, pesticide poisoning, and Tuberculosis. In fact, 517 trophies were legally exported to the U.S. in 2008 according to the Convention in International Trade of Endangered Species. Conservationists are extremely concerned that these predators will soon vanish, and that without these large cats, the ecosystem will not function correctly.
Pharaoh’s and high officials would enjoy the sport of hunting back in the olden days, however it obviously did not had the adverse effects we see today. The result of new technologies such as highly efficient guns, and a growing population creates the perfect recipe for the ultimate extinction of any species with any sort of economic value. While people still hunt for sport today, it is only a fraction of the larger picture that, in conglomeration with human conflict as a result of loss of habitat, that is causing the rapid decrease of these incredible animals. I’m for sure bummed. It would be boring, and quite selfish of our species to create a world only inhabited by humans. Conservationists claim strategies such as ecotourism, banning hunting and arresting poachers, and reduced human conflict by protecting reserves are key in the survival of these majestic creatures.
Joubert, Derrick and Beverley. “Protecting Predators.” National Geographic. December 2010. 138-144.
“Black Rhino An Endangered Species.” Google. Web. 28 November 2010.
“Nile Crocodile.” 25 November 2010. Wikipedia. Web. 27 November 2010.