Tragic solution to a basic problem
A Broad Problem
In the wake of recent political upheavals, poaching for bushmeat has increased massively. It affects many groups of animals: including fish, birds, tortoises and other reptiles, lemurs, bats and other mammals as well. Many of these species are vulnerable to extinction already, have low reproductive rates, and take a long time to mature to breeding age, further hindering conservation efforts.
Not a Real Solution
Much of the hunting that occurs in Madagascar is due to
the ongoing issue of widespread hunger in the country;
half of the lemurs shot illegally in Madagascar are eaten
by the hunter, their close family or neighbours. The other
half are sold and traded in cities as delicacies. But when
these species are hunted to extinction, what then will the people of Madagascar eat?
Poaching and hunting in this way targets specific animals, that have specific roles in the ecosystem that can't be replaced. For example, many large lemurs and bats are instrumental in spreading the seeds of trees - there aren't any other herbivores large enough to eat the seeds! If the numbers of these species decreases too far, the roles they fulfill will be left uncompleted.