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Animals threatened with extinction, threatened by a pandemic as ecotourists, stay at home

By Adam Vaughan

A lion in the grasslands of the Masai Mara, Kenya

Graham Prentice / Alamy

The coronavirus pandemic initially looked like a boon to wildlife as fewer vehicles in national parks and birds sent songs over greater distances. But the rumble of warnings about covid-19’s impact on ecotourism and the environmental protection efforts it funded have caused a roar.

Kenya, one of Africa’s top safaris destinations, has been particularly hard hit. “We had a pretty dramatic influence,” says Drew McVey of WWF Kenya. The group saw a 75 percent decrease in bookings, down from 90 percent of …