Eaten to the Brink of Extinction

It turns out that around the world, more than 72 billion land animals are killed every year, that is about 200 million animals a day, 8.3 million animals in an hour and more than 2,300 animals per second!!!

You think that’s a lot? Think again…These are only the land animals…

It has been estimated that about 1.3 trillion aquatic animals are killed every year for food! I don’t think I have to elaborate that statistics for you but anyways, that’ll be about 41,225 aquatic animals slaughtered every second!

These statistics are unimaginably high and seem practically impossible… Right?

Like you might be thinking,
How are we killing 41,225 aquatic animals plus 2,300 land animals in one second when we can’t even write our own names on a paper in that time!

But this sadly is the reality…

Considering these statistics, it’s not very surprising that humans could actually eat a species to it’s extinction in the wild. That exactly my friend, is the fate of the critically endangered Chinese Giant Salamander.

This living fossil is the largest salamander and is also one of the largest amphibians in the world. It is endemic to rocky streams and lakes of the river Yangtze, China. They can grow upto 1.8m and weigh about 50kg and can live upto 60 years in captivity.

The Chinese Giant Salamanders were once widespread and were commonly found in most parts of China, but poaching and illegal collection for farming, has made them super rare in the wild.

The Chinese giant salamander is a ‘flagship’ species for China’s freshwater river systems. It’s a predator and is an essential part of the food chain.

These creatures date back to 170 million years but in recent times they have vanished from their traditional freshwater habitats. More than 95% of the salamander’s natural habitat has been destroyed leaving only a handful of them left in the wild. Today, catching these exclusively rare species is banned in China.

This Salamander is a Chinese delicacy that is relished by the upper class and is also used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Due to the demand, it is extensively farmed by chinese fisheries and about 2 million of them are harvested annually. China’s penalty for illegally hunting these creatures in the wild is very low and only comes to 50 Yaun, or about ₹534, which is a lot lesser than the black-market price of a salamander, which is anywhere between ₹18,720 to ₹30,000 per piece!

Due to it’s shrinking habitat and growing demand, it has been estimated that this iconic species might go completely extinct in the next 10 years.

Even though china promotes release of these farm bred salamanders in the wild, their population has plummeted drastically. About 14 natural reserves have also been set up to protect the species, but the poachers still manage to capture and kill more than the ones that are being saved.

It’s really unreasonable to kill animals to such an extent that they get wiped off the face of earth! But, these salamanders aren’t the only victims of delicacies. Sharks have also been subjected to gruesome harrasment for soups.

16% of about 400 species of sharks are critically endangered and prone to extinction, the major reason being over exploitation for a delicacy…again… (Déjà Vu)


Image credits: Pinterest

19 thoughts on “Eaten to the Brink of Extinction

  1. The more interesting part about this, is that we, as humans, are animals, too. Yet, is there a movement or an advocation that tells we must conserve each other? If there isn’t, then there should be. By what I know, albeit very limited in information, humans compete for resources, not ever out of the respect of the share. We compete, to compete, some more. And, we compete always for self-interest. For when we do not conserve each other, those that Nature deems us to call “lesser” are extinguished, in the process. We do this to each other, as we do this to “lesser” species.

    Yes. Humans are dominant. We have thrived by knowing we dominate other “lesser” species, to the extent where compassion is much neglected. Though, to conserve each other, would mean to lessen the mass competition to obtain the very last resource. That, I could believe, is the key to solving a matter that threatens to stomp upon each thing that crawls, and rarely stands without a hunch in the back.

    If each human could conserve one another, we’d not ever need to conserve animals deemed as “lesser” to humans. We could inspire to love, to support, and not so much to compete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for such a informative post. It’s truly heart wrenching. I have heard of consumption of dog meat in parts of China, eating octopuses while alive in Korea and consuming dolphins in Japan. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely agree….it is sooo saddening
    ( hi ! I am krisha….I just found your blog and I love it….your wring style is so engaging yet powerful….can’t wait to see more such amazing posts in my feed….just followed)

    Liked by 1 person

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