Corporate wildlife media has failed again.
And again .
You might be asking “Hey Chester, what is the corporate wildlife media?
It is media outlets owned by publicly traded corporations.
It is the large wildlife nonprofits who by virtue of their budgets and staffing have created a bottleneck in wildlife related information.
It is the large wildlife websites and programs interested in sensationalism instead of stories to initiate clickthroughs.
So, how have they failed?
Let’s start with the Asiatic elephant problem.
Currently there are an estimated 400,000 African elephants throughout the continent. That’s a huge drop from at least two million in the 1940s but it is large in comparison to the Asian elephant with a best estimate standing at around 35,000 animals scattered throughout Asia. Think about that.
There are less 1/10 Asian elephants in comparison to African.
Why is little said about Asian elephants?
For starters, big conservation is big bureaucracy and the public’s fascination with the African elephant helps generate funding. Lots of it. The largest threat to Asia’s elephant has been habitat loss with poaching also a factor but showing African elephant carcasses stripped of tusks raises funds.
Showing palm oil plantations and villages taking up space for Asian elephants not so much.
Awhile back I quoted a story that came out of Myanmar showing there is a growing market for Asiatic elephant skins and now bulls, cows and babies are being slaughtered.
Just before making this very post I did a google search for “elephant poaching”.
I finally found a story FIVE pages back on the Myanmar situation with every other story dating back several years in the NEWS section about African elephant poaching.
An even bigger failure is the sad story of the vaquita porpoise I reported on several times in the last year-including in TFG magazine.
There are only 30 vaquitas left.
If Japanese whaling vessels start pounding on humpbacks the fundraising nonprofits will send out their letters and the social media will be abuzz.
But the vaquita is likely about to be extinct and you see almost nothing on it.
Harpooned whales and blood-stained seas raise funds and generate web traffic. They don’t think small propoises no one has heard about tangled in nets will do the same.
I think it would.
I think you and the wildlife loving public are smarter than that but in my opinion the gatekeepers in much of the corporate wildlife media think you’re not.
They think you need sensationalism when I think you need real stories.
That is what I try to do here.
I probably fail as well since this is a one man operation and things slip under the radar but I do put my heart and soul out there and say things I promise gain me no political favor on any side of the conservation aisle.
If you love wildlife and believe in conserving it do your best to stay tuned to independent researchers, small conservation groups and bloggers like myself in addition to the big outlets.
Not everything they do is bad but they miss way too much. And sometimes its on purpose.
It’s time all species in danger of extinction get attention, not just the chosen ones.
Chester Moore, Jr.