Efforts to contain COVID-19 have curtailed efforts to protect endangered species around the world. In Brazil, biologists working to recover golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia) had to call off an effort to vaccinate wild monkeys to protect them from yellow fever. In Guatemala, indigenous communities are struggling to contain intentionally set fires in the rainforest as government firefighting resources are devoted to the pandemic. Illegal logging and other forest crimes in Nepal have more than doubled since lockdowns began. African countries are struggling to support wildlife conservation without tourism dollars.
“Scientists and conservationists have faced interruptions from big global disasters before, like an earthquake or a coup in one country,” Duke University ecologist Stuart Pimm, founder of the nonprofit Saving Nature, told the Associated Press. “But I can’t think of another time when almost every country on the planet has faced the impacts of the same big disaster at once.”
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