Poaching

Poaching

Overview
Poaching is the illegal taking of wild plants or animals contrary to local and international conservation and wildlife management
Wildlife management
Wildlife management attempts to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of people using the best available science. Wildlife management can include game keeping, wildlife conservation and pest control...

 laws. Violations of hunting laws and regulations are normally punishable by law and, collectively, such violations are known as poaching.

It may be illegal and in violation because
  • The game or fish is not in season
    Hunting season
    A hunting season is the time when it is legal to hunt and kill a particular species.In the United States, each state has primary responsibility and authority over the hunting of wildlife that resides within state boundaries. State wildlife agencies that sell hunting licenses are the best source of...

    ; usually the breeding season
    Breeding season
    The breeding season is the most suitable season, usually with favourable conditions and abundant food and water, for breeding among some wild animals and birds . Species with a breeding season have naturally evolved to have sexual intercourse during a certain time of year in order to achieve the...

     is declared as the closed season
    Closed season
    A closed season is a hunting term used to describe the time of the year during which hunting an animal of a given species is contrary to law. Typically, closed seasons are designed to protect a species when they are most vulnerable or, sometimes, to protect them during their breeding season.-...

     when wildlife species
    Species
    In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

     are protected by law.
  • The poacher does not possess a valid permit
    Hunting license
    A hunting license is a regulatory or legal mechanism to control recreational and sports hunting.Hunting may be regulated informally by "unwritten law", "self restraint", or "morality" and by laws "enforced by government authority."...

    .
  • The poacher is illegally selling the animal, animal parts or plant for a profit.
  • The animal is being hunted outside of legal hours.
  • The hunter used an illegal weapon for that animal.
  • The animal or plant is on restricted land.
  • The right to hunt this animal is claimed by somebody.
  • The type of bait is inhumane.
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Encyclopedia
Poaching is the illegal taking of wild plants or animals contrary to local and international conservation and wildlife management
Wildlife management
Wildlife management attempts to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of people using the best available science. Wildlife management can include game keeping, wildlife conservation and pest control...

 laws. Violations of hunting laws and regulations are normally punishable by law and, collectively, such violations are known as poaching.

It may be illegal and in violation because
  • The game or fish is not in season
    Hunting season
    A hunting season is the time when it is legal to hunt and kill a particular species.In the United States, each state has primary responsibility and authority over the hunting of wildlife that resides within state boundaries. State wildlife agencies that sell hunting licenses are the best source of...

    ; usually the breeding season
    Breeding season
    The breeding season is the most suitable season, usually with favourable conditions and abundant food and water, for breeding among some wild animals and birds . Species with a breeding season have naturally evolved to have sexual intercourse during a certain time of year in order to achieve the...

     is declared as the closed season
    Closed season
    A closed season is a hunting term used to describe the time of the year during which hunting an animal of a given species is contrary to law. Typically, closed seasons are designed to protect a species when they are most vulnerable or, sometimes, to protect them during their breeding season.-...

     when wildlife species
    Species
    In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

     are protected by law.
  • The poacher does not possess a valid permit
    Hunting license
    A hunting license is a regulatory or legal mechanism to control recreational and sports hunting.Hunting may be regulated informally by "unwritten law", "self restraint", or "morality" and by laws "enforced by government authority."...

    .
  • The poacher is illegally selling the animal, animal parts or plant for a profit.
  • The animal is being hunted outside of legal hours.
  • The hunter used an illegal weapon for that animal.
  • The animal or plant is on restricted land.
  • The right to hunt this animal is claimed by somebody.
  • The type of bait is inhumane. (e.g. food unsuitable for an animal's health)
  • The means used are illegal (for example, baiting
    Bait (luring substance)
    Bait is any substance used to attract prey, e.g. in a mousetrap.-In Australia:Baiting in Australia refers to specific campaigns to control foxes, wild dogs and dingos by poisoning in areas where they are a problem...

     a field while hunting quail
    Quail
    Quail is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds generally considered in the order Galliformes. Old World quail are found in the family Phasianidae, while New World quail are found in the family Odontophoridae...

     or other animals, using spotlights
    Spotlighting
    Spotlighting or Lamping is a method of hunting nocturnal animals using off-road vehicles and high-powered lights, spotlights, lamps or flashlights, that makes special use of the eyeshine revealed by many animal species. A further important aspect is that many animals Spotlighting or Lamping (also...

     to stun or paralyze deer, or hunting from a moving vehicle, watercraft
    Watercraft
    A watercraft is a vessel or craft designed to move across or through water. The name is derived from the term "craft" which was used to describe all types of water going vessels...

    , or aircraft).
  • The animal or plant is protected by law or that it has been listed as extinct or endangered (see for example the Endangered Species Act
    Endangered Species Act
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is one of the dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and...

     for the USA or the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918
    Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918
    The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 , codified at , is a United States federal law, at first enacted in 1916 in order to implement the convention for the protection of migratory birds between the United States and Great Britain...

     and similar laws/treaties).
  • The animal or plant has been tagged by a researcher.


Note that only wild animals can be poached. Stealing or killing domestic animals is considered to be theft ("cattle rustling"), not poaching.

Plant poaching is also on the rise. A prominent example is the removal of ginseng
Ginseng
Ginseng is any one of eleven species of slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots, belonging to the genus Panax of the family Araliaceae....

 growing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The border between Tennessee and North...

. It is estimated that wild ginseng plants are worth more than $260–365 per pound (dried) on the black market.

Traditional medicine



Traditional Chinese medicine often incorporates ingredients from all parts of plants, the leaf, stem, flower, root, and also ingredients from animals and minerals. The use of parts of endangered species
Endangered species
An endangered species is a population of organisms which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters...

 (such as seahorses, rhinoceros
Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros , also known as rhino, is a group of five extant species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae. Two of these species are native to Africa and three to southern Asia....

 horns, binturong
Binturong
The Binturong , also known as the Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae, which includes the civets and genets. It is the only member of its genus...

 and tiger
Tiger
The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to and weighing up to . Their most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underparts...

 bones and claws) has created controversy and resulted in a black market of poachers who hunt restricted animals. Deep-seated cultural beliefs in the potency of tiger parts are so prevalent across Asia that laws protecting even critically endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger
Sumatran Tiger
The Sumatran tiger is a tiger subspecies that inhabits the Indonesian island of Sumatra and has been classified as critically endangered by IUCN in 2008 as the population is projected at 176 to 271 mature individuals, with no subpopulation having an effective population size larger than 50...

 fail to stop the display and sale of these items in open markets, according to a 2008 report from TRAFFIC. Popular "medicinal" tiger parts from poached animals include tiger penis, culturally believed to improve virility, and tiger eyes.

Slips of authority


There have been many national and international actions taken against certain kinds of poaching and hunting. Hunting for ivory was banned in 1989, but poaching of elephants continues in many parts of Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 stricken by economic decline. The Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 has more than 400 endangered animals, all of which are illegal to poach.

Some species, such as the sturgeon
Sturgeon
Sturgeon is the common name used for some 26 species of fish in the family Acipenseridae, including the genera Acipenser, Huso, Scaphirhynchus and Pseudoscaphirhynchus. The term includes over 20 species commonly referred to as sturgeon and several closely related species that have distinct common...

 or paddlefish
Paddlefish
Paddlefish are primitive Chondrostean ray-finned fishes. The paddlefish can be distinguished by its large mouth and its elongated, spatula-like snout, called a rostrum, which is longer than the rest of the head...

 (aka spoonbill catfish) are listed as species of "special concern" by the U.S. Federal government, but are only banned from fishing in a few states such as Mississippi and Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

. The species, which is being overfished for its eggs to make caviar
Caviar
Caviar, sometimes called black caviar, is a luxury delicacy, consisting of processed, salted, non-fertilized sturgeon roe. The roe can be "fresh" or pasteurized, the latter having much less culinary and economic value....

, is still allowed to be taken in all other states.

Addressing the problem


Some game warden
Game warden
A game warden is an employee who has the role of protecting wildlife. Game wardens may also be referred to as conservation officers or wildlife officers...

s have made use of robotic decoy animals placed in high visibility areas to draw out poachers for arrest after the "animals" get shot.

See also

  • 2006 Zakouma elephant slaughter
    2006 Zakouma elephant slaughter
    The 2006 Zakouma elephant slaughter refers to a series of poaching massacres of African elephants in the vicinity of Zakouma National Park in southeastern Chad. These killings were documented in aerial surveys conducted from May through August 2006 and total at least 100 animals...

  • Bag limits
    Bag limits
    A bag limit is a law imposed on hunters and fishermen restricting the number of animals within a specific species or group of species they may kill and keep. Size limits and hunting seasons sometimes accompany bag limits which place restrictions on the size of those animals and the time of year...

  • Black Act
    Black Act
    The Black Act , was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain passed in 1723 during the reign King George I of Great Britain in response to the Waltham deer poachers and a group of bandits known as the "Wokingham Blacks". It made it a felony to appear armed in a park or warren, or to hunt or steal...

  • Bushmeat
    Bushmeat
    Bushmeat initially referred to the hunting of wild animals in West and Central Africa and is a calque from the French viande de brousse. Today the term is commonly used for meat of terrestrial wild animals, killed for subsistence or commercial purposes throughout the humid tropics of the Americas,...

  • Conservation biology
    Conservation biology
    Conservation biology is the scientific study of the nature and status of Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction...

  • Hunting
    Hunting
    Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

  • Hunting license
    Hunting license
    A hunting license is a regulatory or legal mechanism to control recreational and sports hunting.Hunting may be regulated informally by "unwritten law", "self restraint", or "morality" and by laws "enforced by government authority."...

  • Illegal logging
    Illegal logging
    Illegal logging is the harvest, transportation, purchase or sale of timber in violation of laws. The harvesting procedure itself may be illegal, including using corrupt means to gain access to forests; extraction without permission or from a protected area; the cutting of protected species; or the...

  • Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
    Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
    Illegal fishing takes place where vessels operate in violation of the laws of a fishery. This can apply to fisheries that are under the jurisdiction of a coastal state or to high seas fisheries regulated by regional organisations....

  • Ivory trade
    Ivory trade
    The ivory trade is the commercial, often illegal trade in the ivory tusks of the hippopotamus, walrus, narwhal, mammoth, and most commonly, Asian and African elephants....

  • Lacey Act of 1900
  • Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries – Enforcement Division
  • Night Poaching Act 1828
    Night Poaching Act 1828
    The Night Poaching Act 1828 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom still in effect in the 21st century. It forbids night poaching, especially taking or destroying game on lands, etc, by night, or entering lands at night to take or destroy game.For the purposes of this Act the word...

  • North American Game Warden Museum
    North American Game Warden Museum
    The North American Game Warden Museum is a museum in the International Peace Garden on the Canada–United States international border between the Canadian province of Manitoba and the U.S. state of North Dakota. The museum is located on the American side of the border...

  • Roadkill
    Roadkill
    Roadkill is an animal or animals that have been struck and killed by motor vehicles. In the United States of America, removal and disposal of animals struck by motor vehicles is usually the responsibility of the state's state trooper association or department of transportation.-History:During the...

  • WildAid
    WildAid
    WildAid is an international 501 NGO whose mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade. Rather than an issue of biology or culture WildAid views the illegal wildlife trade fundamentally as a matter of economics - of supply and demand....

  • Wildlife
    Wildlife
    Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

  • Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System
  • Wildlife smuggling
    Wildlife smuggling
    Wildlife smuggling or trafficking involves the illegal gathering, transportation and distribution or animals, and their derivatives. This can be done either internationally or domestically...

  • Viarsa 1
    Viarsa 1
    Viarsa 1 was a Uruguay-flagged fishing vessel famous for its involvement in a high seas chase.-Chase:On 7 August 2003, Australian Customs and Fisheries patrol vessel Southern Supporter spotted Viarsa 1 in Australian territorial waters near Heard Island. Suspecting the vessel of illegal fishing for...

     illegal fishing case

  • External links