The World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) most recent anti-poaching campaign has veered away from using more viscerally disturbing, emotion evoking violent imagery. In place of graphic pictorials, the WWF has opted to use up close and simplistic animal profiles on print ads, with poignant titles and brief informative details on poaching statistics.
A tiger declares, ” I am not a rug.” A rhino asserts, “I am not medicine.” These advertisements are used to grab the viewer’s attention to the anti-poaching cause and appeal for support.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), formerly called the World Wildlife Fund, is an international non-governmental organization supporting issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, endangered species, pollution, and climate change. It retains use of the prior official name in Canada and the United States.
The WWF is known to support causes like Save The Tigers Now, intended to lure political and financial support to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, which will be the next Year of the Tiger based on the Chinese calendar.
The plight of tigers, as well as rhinos and elephants, is these animals are killed for their skins, bones, tusks, horns and other body parts. Wildlife crime is now the most urgent threat to these species, according to WWF. The majority of the animals poached are apex hunters. This means, other than man, they don’t typically have natural enemies in the wild where they are indigenous.
Poaching is the unlawful taking of wild animals. Conservation and wildlife management laws prohibit the illegal trapping, hunting, transport, and slaughter of animals from the wild, especially those endangered. The primary motivations behind poaching are economic and medicinal.
The global value of illegal wildlife trade is between $7.8 and $10 billion per year. Certain cultures utilize the body parts of tigers and rhinos, sold on the black market, for medicine. It’s believed the horn of a rhino can cure cancer, but there is no scientific basis to support that claim. Still, populations of targeted animals are on the decline.
The overall goal of the campaign is simple:
“Push governments to protect threatened animals by increasing law enforcement, imposing strict deterrents, and reducing the demand for endangered species products and honoring international commitments made under CITES.”
CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. CITES will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in March in Bangkok, Thailand.
See campaign images here.
[Image via Shutterstock]