We hope that during these challenging times you and your loved ones are safe and patiently weathering the storm of this pandemic. Everyone at Wildlife Insights continues to work hard to build the most comprehensive camera trap data platform for conservation.
This has been an opportunity for us to reflect on the grave consequences of continued environmental degradation in particular for wildlife. Consuming illegal wildlife products increases the contact between wildlife species and people, making spillover of novel diseases to humans more likely. Most of the recent emerging diseases have started from close contact between wildlife and people or our domestic animals. This is the case for COVID-19 which originated in an open wildlife market in China.
The world is suddenly recognizing how terrible the illegal wildlife trade is, and we are hopeful this will include more stringent laws, more rigorous enforcement, and even a decline in consumer demand for illegal wildlife. Part of this solution will also require surveillance and monitoring of wildlife populations in their natural habitats to ensure any actions that are being taken to control illegal hunting are working. In particular, many of the species that are at high risk to transmit these diseases (e.g. primates, pangolins, civets, etc.) are not easily monitored by casual observation but involve focused effort such as that provided by camera traps and other passive sensors.
Keeping wildlife in wild places is the best means to keep us all safe.
In the meantime stay healthy and hope we can all go back to the field soon.
The Wildlife Insights Partners