Why are Hippos Endangered?
The animal lovers and conservationists frequently ask, why are hippos endangered? Pygmy Hippo’s IUCN status is “Endangered”. Recent population estimates indicate that wild areas may have less than 3,000 pygmy hippos. There are many threats to biodiversity today. The biggest ones can be recalled using H.I.P.P.O.’s overview: habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, human population, and overharvesting.
Both types of hippo habitat are threatened due to logging and human settlement. Pygmy hippos are especially sensitive about habitat loss. In Liberia, where most of the remaining pygmy hippos live, experts say that legal protection for pygmy hippos is inadequate and poorly applied, and logging of their habitats continues. Hunters kill both the common and pygmy hippos for ivory as well as for meat.
Conservationists have a long list to worry about when it comes to the global wildlife trade. They may need to add hippos to the top of their list.
Researchers at the African Journal of Ecology, researchers at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, have shown significant significance to the business volume of hippo teeth that could be a threat to their survival.
Hippos have been classified as weak by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Populations across Africa have declined, with their meat, skin and teeth being uncontrollable victims, shrinking habitats and the increase in hippo-human conflicts. At the current rate, the species may disappear within a century.
Why are hippos endangered? IUCN reports that after the ban on international trade of ivory ivory in 1989, the demand for hippo teeth intensified. The ivory ornaments and accessories carved from them now command lower prices in the world market than the elephant task, perhaps because it remains valid for many countries to import teeth. Hippo teeth are also easier to smuggle than ivory dubs.
Researchers examined records obtained from CITES from 1975, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Animals and Plants. They found that almost all the world trade in hippo passes through Hong Kong – the top transit hub for endangered species – 75% of imports generated from only two countries: Uganda and Tanzania.
Why are hippos endangered? More than 90% of Hong Kong’s global hippo tooth business is imported and re-exported. Over 75% of the imports originated in Tanzania or Uganda, but there is a significant disparity in the amount of trade announced.
In most transactions, Hong Kong declares imported volumes higher than Uganda’s export volume. In all, Hong Kong has reported the import of 1,717kg more hippo teeth than Tanzania’s exports. This indicates that the level of actual trade may be higher than the internationally approved quota.
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In total, more than 14,000kg of hippo toothless between Uganda and Hong Kong, representing 2,700 unique hippos worldwide. 2%. This overall divergence of trade data undermines regulatory measures and challenges the persistence of the African hippo population. (source)
Writers Alexandra Anderson and Luke Gibson wrote, “This overall divergence of trade information undermines regulatory measures and challenges the persistence of Africa’s hippo population”
In 2014, Uganda banned trade in hippo teeth.
The extent of the hippo tooth trade and the significance of other endangered species can lead to “uncontrolled absorption levels” of those animals and ultimately accelerate their extinction, the study’s authors argue.
“As a hub of legal trade in rare animals and parts, Hong Kong authorities must have an accurate knowledge and control of the import, sale or export of endangered species in its territory,” Anderson said in a statement. “The fate of hippos and the abundance of other species can depend on it.”
Therefore, its transparent why are hippos endangered?
Is it legal to own Pygmy Hippos?
All countries in which the pygmy hippos are present are protected by law and are in Appendix II to the CITES, which means that trade in any part of the animal is restricted. Most pygmy hippos live in protected areas and all the countries they live in have developed strategies that help protect hippos.