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Travel Tourists taking selfies are putting endangered species at risk, experts say

03:30  03 january  2020
03:30  03 january  2020 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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Safari tourists have been urged not to share their rare wildlife photos and selfies on social media. South African experts say poachers are using the geolocations on these photos to track and kill endangered animals like rhino and elephants.

Poachers use tourists ’ safari pictures to track endangered animals. Safari tourists are being urged not to share their wildlife photos with geotagged locations on South African experts say poachers are using the geolocations on these photos to track and kill endangered animals like rhino and elephants.

Safari tourists have been urged not to share their rare wildlife photos and selfies on social media.

South African experts say poachers are using the geolocations on these photos to track and kill endangered animals like rhino and elephants.

Working Wild’s Karen Trendler, who specializes in rhino conservation, says “it’s mind-blowing how sophisticated these syndicates are. You’ll find some poachers who have several social media profiles, just to track posts about endangered wildlife.”

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But one expert says the trend is putting endangered species at risk . It may seem like harmless fun and make for a great picture, but experts are warning the rock stacking trend is There are more than 70,000 posts using the #rockstacking tag on Instagram, often taken in pristine environments.

Saving all the endangered marine species might well cost far more. Why should we spend all that money on wildlife Species go extinct all the time anyway. As well as individual species dying out, there have been One simple example is safari holidays that take tourists to see mountain gorillas.

Trendler says tourists need to be aware of the impact their actions could have.

“I’m not saying don’t take that once in a lifetime picture, but if you do, switch off your geotagging, don’t say when and where and what time the photo was taken," she said. "You never know what information you’re unwittingly passing along to someone with nefarious intent.”

In Kruger Park, arguably one of the world’s most well-known safari destinations, officials are considering jamming phone signals to stop tourists from advertising the locations of the endangered creatures.

“I think people would be shocked to know that their tips on sightings are being monitored by poachers,” Kruger Park spokesperson Ike Phaahla told ABC News. “We are talking to experts to see what can be done to curb irresponsible behavior. Cutting off the signal might end up being the answer.”

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Selfie - taking tourists are putting endangered species at risk with poachers, experts sayPoachers can track wildlife based on a phone's geolocator. ByLiezl ThomJanuary 2, 2020, 4:44 PM4 min read0:57Poachers use tourists ’ safari pictures to track endangered animalsSafari tourists are being

Basically, “ endangered ” means that a species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Experts estimate that the extinction rate of animal species today is between 1,000 and 10 It is estimated that today 50 percent of the world’s species are at risk of extinction [2].

More than half of the 8,000 rhinos poached in South Africa between 2008 and 2018 were killed in Kruger Park and adjacent private reserves. Elephant poaching in the park, which is roughly the size of Belgium, surged to a record high in 2018, with 71 killed for their ivory.

While the selfie culture is deemed to be one of the biggest enablers of poaching, it has also had several other unintended consequences.

In recent weeks, three antelopes were killed by speeding motorists. In November, a giraffe was killed when it was hit by a racing minibus and then catapulted onto the hired vehicle of a Swiss visitor who later died from his injuries. The speed limit on the park’s 1,900-mile road network is up to 30 miles per hour, depending on the quality of the surface.

Phaahla said “people drive fast to get to the area thereby endangering themselves and the animals, then it causes congestion at the sighting which causes tempers to flare and thirdly it gives intelligence to poaching syndicates if it is an animals that they intend poaching.”

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