Stop illegal wildlife trade

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Illegal wildlife trade is the third most lucrative market worldwide.

The sale and trade of exotic animals and their parts garners an enormous amount of profit annually, but sadly, this comes at a great cost to the animals. In the past 40 years alone, around 52 percent of the world’s wildlife has disappeared. Although factors like climate change and habitat loss are contributing to this decline, the illegal wildlife trade arguably has the most immediate impact on animal populations.

Wildlife crime endangers iconic elephants, rhinos, tigers, sharks, gorillas, sea turtles and many more animals. In 2011, a subspecies of Javan rhino went extinct in Vietnam, while the last western black rhinos vanished from Cameroon the same year. Great apes have disappeared from Gambia, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo, and other countries could quickly follow.

These animals are killed to be turned into trinkets rugs or jewelry, for use in traditional Chinese medicine, to be served in lavish restaurants, or captured and sold alive as exotic pets. It’s estimated that as a result of this trade, one elephant is killed every 15 minutes for their ivory tusks, at least three rhinos are killed a day, and to top it off, there are now currently more tigers living in U.S. backyards as pets than there are in the wild.

The booming illegal trade in wildlife products is eroding Earth’s precious biodiversity, robbing us of our natural heritage and driving whole species to the brink of extinction. The killing and smuggling is also undermining economies and ecoystems, fuelling organized crime, and feeding corruption and insecurity across the globe.

Caption edit: made by me / Information credit: Onegreenplanet / Photo edit: made by me (copyright)