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 illegal trade in wildlife?
Illegal wildlife trade – United For Wildlife. Wildlife trade, legal or illegal, is the exchange or sale of wild animal or plant resources. Illegal wildlife trade contributes directly to the loss of species and habitat destruction, but it also directly and indirectly impacts local communities.
Why does illegal wildlife trade exist?
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.
What can we do to stop illegal wildlife trade?
Here is what you can do to help:
- Ask before you buy.
- Stick to certified products.
- Choose sustainable, eco-friendly pets.
- Eat only sustainable seafood.
- Petition your local government to stop or restrict legal ivory trade.
- Pledge your support.
- Report any illegal wildlife trade.
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.