Quick Answer: How Much Is The Illegal Wildlife Trade Worth?

How big is the illegal wildlife trade?

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.

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 animals are endangered from illegal wildlife trade?

The trafficking and unsustainable trade in wildlife commodities such as elephant ivory, rhino horn, pangolin scales, tiger bone, bear bile, and rosewood are causing unprecedented declines in some of the world’s most charismatic, as well as some lesser-known, wildlife species.

What causes illegal wildlife trade?

The main causes are loss of habitats and over-exploitation of species, including the illegal hunting of animals. The illegal trade in endangered plants and animals – whether elephant ivory, rhino horn or animals captured as exotic pets – is a growing threat pushing thousands of species to the brink of extinction.

What is the most smuggled?

  • Drugs. Not surprisingly, illegal drugs are on top of the list.
  • Weapons. Weapons are also one of the most smuggled items in the world, which is easy to grasp: Terrorists need weapons.
  • Human trafficking. Wow.
  • Wildlife products.

What is the most smuggled animal?

pangolins

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.

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 are elephants traded illegally?

International trade in Asian elephant ivory was banned in 1975 when the Asian elephant was placed on Appendix One of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). By the late 1980s, it was believed that only around 50,000 remained in the wild.

What can we do to stop illegal wildlife trade?

Here is what you can do to help:

  1. Ask before you buy.
  2. Stick to certified products.
  3. Choose sustainable, eco-friendly pets.
  4. Eat only sustainable seafood.
  5. Petition your local government to stop or restrict legal ivory trade.
  6. Pledge your support.
  7. Report any illegal wildlife trade.

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.

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.