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Uploaded on Wednesday 18 Jun 2014
by Jarle Mjaasund
Illegal wildlife trafficking affects species population
Riccardo Pravettoni, GRID Arendal
The illegal trade in wildlife excluding timber and fisheries has been estimated by different sources to be worth 7–23 billion dollars annually, involving a wide range of species including insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish and mammals. It concerns both live and dead specimens or products thereof. Illegal harvest and trade further includes a range of species from iconic ones like gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans, elephants, tigers, rhinos, Chiru antelopes and bears to corals, birds, pangolins,reptiles and sturgeon for black caviar.
Approximately 94% of rhino poaching takes place in Zimbabwe and South Africa, which have by far the largest remaining populations, and has increased dramatically from possibly less than 50 in 2007 to over 1,000 rhinos poached in 2013, involving organized crime. Population size of black and white rhinos was ca. 4,800 and 20,000 in 2010 respectively, with Asian one-horned rhinos numbering ca. 3,600 individuals. Rhinos have disappeared entirely from several
Asian and African countries in recent years, although overall
numbers of rhino in Africa have been increasing.