Pledge to end wildlife trafficking for Wildlife Conservation Day

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
December 04, 2012



A forest elephant, which is considered by some to be a distinct species of elephant in Africa, in Gabon. Both forest elephants and savannah elephants are increasingly killed for their tusks. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) estimates that 30,000 elephants will be killed this year along for the black market trade. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
A forest elephant, which is considered by some to be a distinct species of elephant in Africa, in Gabon. Both forest elephants and savannah elephants are increasingly killed for their tusks. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) estimates that 30,000 elephants will be killed this year along for the black market trade. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.

Today has been dubbed the first ever global Wildlife Conservation Day. To honor it, a coalition of conservation groups—including WWF and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)—are working to raise awareness of illegal wildlife trafficking. Poaching for traditional medicine, bushmeat, and other products has put innumerable species at risk, including tigers, rhinos, sharks, and elephants.

"Wildlife trafficking has become more organized, more lucrative, more widespread, and more dangerous than ever before [...] Wildlife trafficking threatens security and the rule of law, undermines conservation efforts, robs local communities of their economic base, and contributes to the emergence and spread of disease," U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said at a recent event.

WCS estimates that this year 30,000 African elephants will be killed for their ivory, over 25 million sharks will be caught for their fins, and nearly 500 black rhinos—listed as Critically Endangered—will be shot down in South Africa alone for their horns. The illegal trade also has a vast human toll: both wildlife rangers and poachers are often killed in shootouts.

Demand is in increasing in countries like China and Vietnam for products made from wildlife, such as powdered rhino horn, shark find soup, tiger blood, bear bile, and ivory.

The NGOs are asking that the public take a pledge to do their part to put an end to wildlife trafficking.

















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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (December 04, 2012).

Pledge to end wildlife trafficking for Wildlife Conservation Day.

http://news.mongabay.com/2012/1204-hance-wildlife-conservation-day.html