In a 2015 study of admitted poachers in the largest park in Tanzania, 4 out of 5 admitted to poaching for food or income. But not all of them poached due to extreme poverty (in need of food and shelter) . For many it was a means of supplemental income. In fact only 8% used poaching as their only source of income. by Conservation and Society
Out of 171 poachers, 60 had some form of employment.
The poachers with other means of income were using poaching as a means to advance their families out of day to day living.
“While our poachers and their households had adequate food and shelter, most lacked abilities to send children to school, or advance themselves in any meaningful way,” said Eli Knapp, lead author of the study.
This changes the popular assumption that people only poach out of absolute need.
For more on the study by Conservation and Society, see: Probing Rural Poachers in Africa: why do they poach?