[ View the story "The dark side of ivory" on Storify] The dark side of ivory Illicit trafficking of wildlife spreads online.
The Stream· Tue, Jan 01 2013 11:01:28
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Wildlife Crime Scorecard rates 23 countries classified as range, transit and consumer countries in the illegal trade of animals. It measures the countries' compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) regulations with respect to the conservation of elephants, rhinos and tigers.
Wildlife Crime ScorecardWWF International
Rhino poaching for horns has increased dramatically over recent years. In 2007, only
were poached in South Africa. In 2012, the number rose to
main routes for organized criminal trade in widlifeAJstream
Approximately 90 per cent of Africa's rhinos are in South Africa, held in Krueger National Park. The park is also a major location for rhino poachers, who often track the animals with
such as helicopters and night vision glasses.
Fight against rhino poaching intensifiessabc
South Africa's enforcements on rhino poaching have become increasingly strict. Under Krueger National Park's increased security measures, anyone
of being a poacher will be shot.
While wildlife trade is
to society and national security, many campaigns, like the video below, focus on the suffering of animals targeted for poaching.
This video contains graphic material.
Rhino Poaching: An African Tragedy. A Global Responsibility!foundationwilderness
Ivory is another main commodity of illicit wildlife trade. Experts estimate that tens of thousands of elephants are poached every year. In 2011,
of ivory were seized worldwide.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) campaign advertisement below emphasizes the threat of elephant extinction:
IFAW 'Say NO to ivory trade' TV spotckoenen
Demand for ivory is fueled primarily by China, although the commodity is also sought after in Thailand, Vietnam, and Japan,
to National Geographic contributor Brian Christy.
The popularity in these markets is spurred in part by use of the horn in traditional medicine. Rhino horn has also been
as a miracle cure for cancer and an
for party drinks and drugs.
Christy also mentions the importance of religion in fueling the demand for ivory. The demand for figurines carved from ivory is particularly high among Buddhists and Christians.
There are many ivory and faux ivory figures for
on eBay, similar to the items shown below.
ivory crucifixes eBayAJstream
"ivory" buddhas with different pricesAJstream
"Faux ivory" and "ox bone" are the most common euphemisms for ivory. Many items are sold on eBay and other sites under these categories. In the report "Killing with Keystrokes", IFAW
the internet's contributions to illicit wildlife trade.
Tigers, another endangered species, are poached for their whiskers, teeth, and particularly their pelts. The number of tigers has decreased dramatically to less than
Last chance to save the Wild Tiger? | WWFwwf
In the clip below from WWF Cambodia, a former tiger poacher shares his regret and talks of his efforts to assist wildlife conservation.
WWF: Confessions of a tiger poacherwwfcambodia