From bird legs to monkey brains, wild animals in the south of China, especially in Guangdong and adjacent provinces and regions, have gruesomely fallen prey, on the dining tables, to avid human beings.
According to Legal Daily, a Chinese-language newspaper, in Guangdong province alone more than 50 species of wildlife, including civet cats, foxes, raccoons, and turtles, are on the menu. Many of the species, such as pangolins and many rare birds, are near extinction and should enjoy State protection.
After the outbreak of SARS in 2003, many people refused to eat exotic animals for fear of catching diseases, as scientists traced the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome to civet cats.
But the fear disappeared within several months. In fact, in recent years, the craving for wildlife has reared its head even higher. And where there is the demand, there is the killing. Poaching and the illicit trading of wildlife are lucrative activities in some regions, and they already pose grave threats to endangered species and thus to the balance of ecosystems.
A study by the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that in 2010, species including the one-horned rhinoceros and the saiga antelope had died out in the Chinese mainland, and there were more than 300 species on the brink of extinction.
While there are many factors contributing to the decline of species, such as habit loss, deforestation, global warming and urbanization, illegal hunting plays a large role in the loss of biodiversity. More....