Greenpeace recently released an animation video highlighting the global biodiversity crisis. The hack into Disney’s classic The Lion King, where all animals are removed from the movie’s title sequence, leaves us with the beautiful yet oppressive backgrounds of the African savanna.
Hopefully, Africa’s animals will not vanish as suggested. Nevertheless, it is exactly what’s happening in parts of the continent due to poaching, unsustainable bushmeat trade, habitat loss and habitat fragmentation, massive development projects that are often poorly planned, and a booming human population. Despite many conservation efforts, Africa’s big mammal populations declined by 59 percent in just 40 years [study report by Craigie and others]. Poaching led to the death of 22,000 African elephants last year, a poaching rate of 7,4% that exceeds the natural African elephant population increase of 5% [press release], and we have seen record levels of rhino poaching in Africa this year [statistics]. Moreover, the African lion population plummeted, due to habitat loss, by around 70 percent from nearly 100,000 to about 32,000 since 1960 [Lion population 2012].
There’s still hope for wildlife on the African continent, of course. As a matter of fact the unsettling situation should be the incentive to increase conservation efforts, reduce biodiversity loss and to foster the wildlife we still have got left in various part of the world. In addition, reintroduction in the wild of captive-bred individuals of threatened species could be enhanced, while at the same time conserving, improving or expanding their original habitat. If we want to prevent the video to come true, that is.
This video was made by Studio Smack in cooperation with Greenpeace NL and is currently part of the online magazine GPM appearing four times a year.