Illegal Wildlife Trade

Topics: Conservation biology, Endangered species, Biodiversity Pages: 12 (707 words) Published: December 9, 2014

Illegal Wildlife Trade
By: Elianny Rodriguez

▪ The illegal wildlife trade is decreasing biodiversity in

ecosystems and pushing rare species toward extinction.

Wildlife trade


A study released in 2013 found that
illegal trade in wildlife is the forth
largest illegal trade and was valued
at over $19 billion per year.

▪ It is known that the trade
is used to finance drug
and arms trade as well.

▪ In 2011 23 metric tons of
ivory was seized: That
represents 2,500

5 Most endangered species due to
illegal animal trade



Their horns; It’s partly due to the rumor that their
horns can cure cancer and hangovers.

3. Marine turtles

Being hunted for their meat and eggs due to
wide demand for both. Turtles are also a product of bycatch .

4. Elephants
5. Sharks

One word: Ivory.

Sharks are hunted for their fins, which are used as an
ingredient in some soups. It is estimated that 73 million sharks are killed every year for this very reason.

Big Cats
• For every tiger or lion trapped in a zoo, “there
may be as many as 10 privately owned.”
• There are as little as 3,200 tigers in the wild
while nearly double that amount are in zoos or
kept as pets.
A new study concludes that the decline
of large predators and herbivores in all
regions of the world is causing
substantial changes to all of the Earth’s
ecosystems. The paper claims that the
loss of apex predators from ecosystems
"may be humankind's most pervasive
influence on nature."

Removing apex predators and large herbivores
affects structure, function, and biodiversity of most
natural ecosystems.
▪ The reduction of big cats from
areas of Africa caused the baboon
population to grow. This increased
transmission of intestinal parasites
from baboons to humans since the
primates were forced to forage
closer to human settlements.

▪ Losing this animals causes
extensive cascading effects in
ecosystems worldwide.

Not just Big Cats, Rhinos, and
▪ At least 18 species of
parrot are endangered or
critically endangered.

▪ There are less than 3,000
Hyacinth (Blue) macaws
left due to illegal

• The U.S. is the main
destination for exotic
and endangered wild
• Most of the wildlife
sent to China and
other Asian countries
are used for food.
• Animals sent to North
and South America,
as well as Europe are
mostly used as
luxury pets or for
their fur.

It happens in countries all around the world
Main routes of animal
smuggling and prices.

Disease Threat
• Because these animals are brought to
the country illegally the CDC does not
get the chance to test them for
infectious diseases.
• Seventy-five percent of all new
infectious diseases originate from
nonhuman animals.
• Prairie dogs have been known to carry
the plague and tularemia.
• In 2003 dozens of people in the
Midwest were affected by the monkey
pox outbreak that was eventually
traced back to a Gambian rat from
Africa. The animal was discovered in
an Illinois animal dealer’s shed.

Other Dangers
• Although these
animals are
taken from the
wild and held in
captivity they
never lose their
natural instincts.

At any moment
the animals have
been known to
attack anything
from smaller
animals to their
human owners


March 3rd 2014 was the first ever World Wildlife
Day which focused on puting an end to illegal
wildlife trafficking and poaching.

Works Cited
1. Daszak P, Cunningham AA, Hyatt AD. 2000. Emerging infectious diseases of wildlife--threats to biodiversity and human health. Science 287(5452):443-9. 2. Stoett P. 2002. The international regulation of trade in wildlife: Institutional and normative considerations....

Cited: 1. Daszak P, Cunningham AA, Hyatt AD. 2000. Emerging infectious diseases of
wildlife--threats to biodiversity and human health
2. Stoett P. 2002. The international regulation of trade in wildlife: Institutional
and normative considerations
3. Johnson PTJ, Preston DL, Hoverman JT, Richgels KLD. 2013. Biodiversity
decreases disease through predictable changes in host community
competence. Nature 494(7436):230-3.
4. Sarkar S. 1999. Wilderness perservation and biodiversity conservation-keeping divergent goals distinct. Bioscience 49(5):405-12.
5. Johannesen ABORGE. 2005. Wildlife conservation policies and incentives to
hunt: An empirical analysis of illegal hunting in western serengeti, tanzania. (accessed April
21, 2014).
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