Question: How Big Is The Illegal Wildlife Trade?

What is illegal trade in wildlife?

Illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be a multibillion-dollar business involving the unlawful harvest of and trade in live animals and plants or parts and products derived from them. Wildlife is traded as skins, leather goods or souvenirs; as food or traditional medicine; as pets, and in many other forms.

How much is the illegal wildlife trade worth?

With a value of between $7 billion and $23 billion each year, illegal wildlife trafficking is the fourth most lucrative global crime after drugs, humans and arms.

How many animals are illegally traded each year?

Birds are the most common contraband; the State Department estimates that two million to five million wild birds, from hummingbirds to parrots to harpy eagles, are traded illegally worldwide every year. Millions of turtles, crocodiles, snakes and other reptiles are also trafficked, as well as mammals and insects.

Why is wildlife trade harmful?

Wildlife trafficking can trigger global pandemics, including devastating varieties of influenza, and has been linked to the spread of SARS and the Ebola virus. The illicit trade in animal products hurts economies, threatens the security of nations, and has permanently damaged forest-dependent communities.

What animal is most poached?

pangolin

Are poachers poor?

In rural areas of the United States, the key motives for poaching are poverty. Armed conflict in Africa has been linked to intensified poaching and wildlife declines within protected areas, likely reflecting the disruption of traditional livelihoods, which causes people to seek alternative food sources.

Is the exotic pet trade illegal?

Some of this trade is legal, but many times animals are captured from the wild illegally to supply demand for exotic pets. The illicit sales of live animals comprises a major part of the overall illegal wildlife trade, a multibillion-dollar global black market.

Why is wildlife trade illegal?

Illegal wildlife trade is driven by high profit margins and, in many cases, the high prices paid for rare species. Vulnerable wild animals are pushed further to the edge of extinction when nature can’t replenish their stocks to keep up with the rate of human consumption.

How many animals die from poaching?

This results in the poisoning deaths of approximately 20 million animals. More than 126,000 hunting trophies are imported into the United States each year. There are more than 1,000 captive animal hunting operations in the United States. Thousands of individuals are arrested for poaching in the United States each year.

What animals are illegally traded?

Some examples of illegal wildlife trade are well known, such as poaching of elephants for ivory and tigers for their skins and bones. However, countless other species are similarly overexploited, from marine turtles to timber trees.

Why is poaching illegal?

Poaching. Poaching, in law, the illegal shooting, trapping, or taking of game, fish, or plants from private property or from a place where such practices are specially reserved or forbidden. Poaching is a major existential threat to numerous wild organisms worldwide and is an important contributor to biodiversity loss.

What is the most trafficked animal in the world?

Pangolins

Is all wildlife trade illegal?

Some examples of illegal wildlife trade are well known, such as poaching of elephants for ivory and tigers for their skins and bones. However, countless other species are similarly overexploited, from marine turtles to timber trees. Not all wildlife trade is illegal.

What is ivory used for?

Commercial uses of ivory include the manufacture of piano and organ keys, billiard balls, handles, and minor objects of decorative value. In modern industry, ivory is used in the manufacture of electrical appliances, including specialized electrical equipment for airplanes and radar.

Where is poaching most common?

Most poaching happens in Zimbabwe, which is a country in Africa. The second country with the most poaching is Kenya, which is also in Africa. More than half of the worlds poaching happens in Africa because there are a lot of rare animals there.

Why do people poach?

Usually, bushmeat is considered a subset of poaching due to the hunting of animals regardless of the laws that conserve certain species of animals. Another major cause of poaching is due to the cultural high demand of wildlife products, such as ivory, that are seen as symbols of status and wealth in China.

How much do poachers make?

A horn can earn a poacher roughly 150,000 rand—nearly five years’ salary in one day. Even with those lethal stakes, the criminals kept coming. Five years ago, poaching here was out of control. Considering that a rhino horn fetches $60,000 or more per kilogram on the black market, many thought it was worth the risk.

What kind of animals do poachers kill?

Commercial poachers kill grizzly bears, moose, bighorn sheep, elk, mountain lions, eagles and snakes. Domestic bear species such as American black bear are slaughtered for their body parts that are used for exotic foods, medicinal purposes and as aphrodisiacs.