Covid-19 impact on Wildlife

Covid-19 impact on wildlife - MapAid story map

While we have been mapping the national and global reach of COVID-19, Global MapAid has also been looking at its impact in the natural world. As the shutting of borders began, the effect of this necessary strategy to further prevent the spread of the virus has had more impacts than simply cancelled holidays.


At Global MapAid we have collated news articles and stories that show the experiences of local communities and organisations that have had to adapt to the pandemic, particularly across Africa. As conservation work depends heavily on tourism for income, and in turn, the funding of their projects, the closing of borders has impacted these organisations hugely. Job losses and the redirection of funds has occurred as a result, and many organisations are uncertain about how long they can continue without assistance from their governments.


The hunting of bushmeat has become more frequent in areas where job losses and a fall of income have become prevalent. While in others, the threat of poaching for ivory has increased as alternative sources of income are sought. The Uganda Wildlife Authority has recorded 367 poaching incidents between February and May 2020, double what was recorded in the same period in 2019. While in South Africa, the non-profit Rhino 911 has been at the forefront of a dehorning project to protect its rhino population.

However, as the discussion of the cause of the novel coronavirus continues, it has shed light on the wildlife trade as a whole, and whether this trade should be allowed to continue. Its link to the pangolin has further exposed the trade of this critically endangered species and will hopefully lead to greater implementation of law and regulation. Positive steps have been seen in Washington DC, where they have introduced a ban on the sale of elephant ivory and rhino horn, and in South Africa, where technology has been utilised to successfully deter poachers.


The impact of COVID-19 on wildlife is shown across the globe, with stories from Russia to Nicaragua emerging. Protected birds of prey have been shot in the UK and at least four tigers have been lost in India.

Click here or on the map above to visit our interactive Covid-19 Conservation Story Map



Jean Semeki Ngabinkzeke, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo:


“It’s easier to monetise game to pay for children’s schooling or for medicine than to subsist off of food crops that do not provide immediate income and are unpredictable”

What next? Have you got a story to add to our map?


At Global MapAid, we produce maps like the Covid-19 Conservation and Wildlife story map in order to visually illustrate where these stories are happening and where aid is needed. But further to that, we want to map solutions and, crucially, where there are gaps in solutions. Using our maps we want to work with conservation groups, local and central governments, NGO’s and the private sector to resolve the problems which we have highlighted!


If you have a story to add to our map then please fill out the form here


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