In the past decade, wildlife trafficking – the poaching or other taking of protected or managed species and the illegal trade in wildlife and their related parts and products – has escalated into an international crisis.
What is meant by wildlife trafficking?
Wildlife smuggling or trafficking involves the illegal gathering, transportation, and distribution of animals and their derivatives. This can be done either internationally or domestically. Estimates of the money generated by wildlife smuggling vary, in part because of its illegal nature.
How does wildlife trafficking work?
Wildlife trafficking (the illegal poaching, taking, and/or trade of protected or managed species and their parts or products) removes millions of animals and plants from the wild annually. As many people know, this includes elephants and rhinos.
Where is the wildlife trafficking?
These areas are called “wildlife trade hotspots.” They include China’s international borders, trade hubs in East/Southern Africa and Southeast Asia, the eastern borders of the European Union, some markets in Mexico, parts of the Caribbean, parts of Indonesia and New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.
Why is wildlife trafficking a problem?
Illegal wildlife trade is also often unsustainable, harming wild populations of animals and plants and pushing endangered species toward extinction. … Furthermore, illegal trade negatively impacts a country’s natural resources and local communities that might otherwise benefit from tourism or legal, sustainable trade.
Is wildlife trafficking a crime?
Wildlife trafficking involves the illegal trade, smuggling, poaching, capture, or collection of endangered species, protected wildlife (including animals or plants that are subject to harvest quotas and regulated by permits), derivatives, or products thereof.
What are wildlife crimes?
Wildlife crime is an area of study typically defined from a legalistic perspective as an act in contravention of laws protecting wildlife. These crimes occur both within and across national borders and may include trafficking in wildlife or wildlife products.
What crimes do animal traffickers commit?
Poachers and traffickers have also been tied to murder, intimidation, bribery, organized crime, terrorism and a host of other threats that destabilize families, communities and national security.
Why does animal trafficking happen?
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 trafficking?
Introduction. Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws.
Who is responsible for animal trafficking?
The Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD), together with United States Attorneys’ Offices across the country, is responsible for prosecuting international wildlife trafficking crimes, primarily under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Lacey Act, as well as crimes related to …
What happens to illegal animals?
The world’s wildlife trade policy body wants better treatment and tracking of illegally traded animals confiscated by authorities. … They also move live wild animals—reptiles, birds, monkeys—to other nations, where they’re sold as exotic pets or as props in tourist attractions.
Why is wildlife crime important?
Wildlife crime is serious
Wildlife trafficking can destroy the natural resources on which national economies and livelihoods depend. It undermines conservation efforts, as well as efforts to eliminate poverty and to develop sustainable economic opportunities for rural communities.
Why is it important to end wildlife trafficking?
Stopping the illegal wildlife trade is one of the most important and urgent parts of our work to protect iconic and threatened wildlife. … Poaching wildlife also puts the biodiversity at immense risk, ultimately leading to an unbalanced food chain – threatening all forms of life.
What are the impacts of wildlife trafficking?
It is run by criminal networks with a wide, international reach. Some also traffic illegal drugs, arms and even people. Poaching and wildlife trafficking also undermines sustainable development and community livelihoods and safety, posing related challenges around law enforcement, poverty and economic opportunities.