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Coronavirus ‘threatens wildlife conservation’

The head of a charity which works on protecting African wildlife, Tusk, says the coronavirus pandemic is the biggest threat to conservation in his 30 years of working in the sector.

Charlie Mayhew told the BBC that his organisation expects to lose $2m (£1.6m) from cancelled fundraising events alone.

The number of coronavirus cases across the continent is relatively low, but despite this, the tourism industry has collapsed.

Almost four million people work in the conservation industry – guiding safaris, working in lodges and hotels, and protecting wildlife.

Now, with large numbers of people out of work, there are reports of an increase in poaching.

Tourism can often make up half the revenue for wildlife reserves; the loss of that income will make it much harder to fund the rangers that protect the animals.

Tourists and their guides out on safari can also act as a deterrent to poachers. Now those extra pairs of eyes and ears are gone.

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