Wildlife Trade’s Most Wanted

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Illegal wildlife trade is one of the world’s largest industry — and one of the main drivers of species decline.

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION DAY is coming up — a day dedicated to the conservation of our planet’s wildlife and wild places. It started back in 2012 by US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, to recognize the alarming rates of species decline. This day also brings awareness to the illegal global wildlife trade — a $20 billion dollar industry that impacts nearly one in five land-based animals.

Behind drugs and weapons, wildlife trade (which includes smuggling, poaching, trafficking, capture or collection of endangered species) is the third most lucrative illicit business. Plants, birds, mammals, and reptiles all make up the 100 million trafficked wildlife each year. Ripped from their homes and smuggled in makeshift carriers (toilet paper tubes, suitcase, stockings, bags), only four out of five animals will survive transport or live beyond a year in captivity.

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