Poachers of Pangolins
This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic Voices blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world.
Text and photos by iLCP Fellow Paul Hilton.
If a scene can be simultaneously destructive and beautiful, it is this; a palm oil plantation bigger than size of Jakarta. Hectare after hectare, row after row and canal after canal of oil palm.
Having spent the best part of 20 years documenting the environmental wins and losses of this part of the world, I am still struck by the majesty of our surroundings. I just wish I was here to bear witness to that, and not the needless decimation of yet another a species; this time the world’s most highly-traded mammal, with more than a million being poached from the wild over the last decade, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The illegal wildlife trade is estimated at US$19 billion a year.