Black market wildlife trade

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“I personally am not very interested in animals. I do not want to spend my holidays watching crocodiles. Nevertheless, I am entirely in favor of their survival. I believe that after diamonds and sisal, wild animals will provide Tanganyika with its greatest source of income. Thousands of Americans and Europeans have the strange urge to see these animals.” – Julius Nyerere (Nash) The wildlife trade is a growing problem as organized crime syndicates show more interest in the trade. According to CITES the black market trade of wildlife now rivals drug, gun, and human trafficking, and is worth approximately 300 billion dollars annually (BBC CITES). The wildlife black market is as wide and diverse as the world’s ecosystems are. The interest lies not only in animals, but their hides, bones and other body parts, insects, and plant life. With boarders cracking down on the illegal trade and transport of drugs and firearms, large criminal gangs are showing more interest in the wildlife trade. The US states department lists the wildlife trade as the third most valued illegal commerce in the world and is growing. (CNN) The organization charged with the responsibility to monitor the wildlife trade is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES. CITES is an international agreement between nations, with the primary goal to, “ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival,” (CITES). The organization was drafted in 1963 by the IUCN (the World Conservation Union), and put into place in 1973 with 80 countries signing. While CITES is legally binding, it is up to the nation to implement and enforce the laws, CITES provides the framework t... ... middle of paper ... ...e of its depleting population in the wild the capture sale and transport of wild macaws is illegal. The price of a Macaw generally ranges between $10,000 and $20,000 dollars for young or rare species to in the low thousands for an older or more common (captive bred) species. Poachers typically look for young baby macaws, once a nest is spotted they will wait and watch the nest noting the coming and going of the Macaw to see if the nest contains any young (typicaly 1-2 per nest) from there the young are captured and taken from their nest, a common method of capturing them involves felling the tree. A poacher makes around $150 for a Macaw baby. From there they are taken and smuggled across boarders often smuggled in thermos, toilet paper rolls, or hub caps, it is not unusual for the animal to die before it reaches its destination.

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