Wednesday, February 5, 2014

illegal trade in wildlife

In learning about wildlife conservation, it's important to be aware of  an increasing problem -- the international illegal trade in wildlife, and black market trade in wildlife body parts.

Quoting from the website of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES):

Ph. from Wikim. Commons
"Annually, international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and to include hundreds of millions of plant and animal specimens. The trade is diverse, ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them, including food products, exotic leather goods, wooden musical instruments, timber, tourist curios and medicines. Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are high and the trade in them, together with other factors, such as habitat loss, is capable of heavily depleting their populations and even bringing some species close to extinction."

For people especially interested in birds, there is extensive illegal international trade in parrots, macaws, and related birds; songbirds; and falcons and other birds of prey. 

Here are some sources to learn more:

CITES: http://www.cites.org/

WWF - Illegal Wildlife Trade:  http://worldwildlife.org/threats/illegal-wildlife-trade

TRAFFIC:  http://www.traffic.org/trade/

IFAW: http://www.ifaw.org/united-states

Trade in falcons: http://www.cites.org/eng/news/meetings/falcon.shtml

Trade in the Saker Falcon: http://www.mefrg.org/trade.asp
http://tribune.com.pk/story/620500/endangered-species-illegal-trade-of-saker-falcons-a-booming-business/

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