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Wildlife Trade (Illegal)

The Trade In Wildlife, Monitoring And Regulating The International Trade In Endangered Species

Many endangered species, or their body parts, are extremely valuable for one reason or another. In some cases, they are avidly sought by public zoos or botanical gardens, or by private collectors, who may be willing to pay large sums of money for living or dead specimens to add to their collection. In other cases, parts of an animal or plant may be valuable. This can result in species being killed for their precious fur, ivory, horn, or internal organs.

Much of the harvesting and trade in wildlife is legal, and not a threat to species that are widespread and abundant. In many other cases, however, endangered species are being illegally harvested because of the vast sums of money that can be made. The illegal trade in wildlife involves a well-organized chain of commerce, which includes: the hunters (also known as poachers), the buyers of the living animal or plant or its body parts, the traders exporting or importing the goods, the manufacturers of consumer products, and ultimately the consumers. Each of these actors plays a crucial role in the illegal drama of wildlife trade. This trade is greatly increasing the risk of extinction of many endangered species of plants and animals.

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