Every year hundreds of millions of animals are illegally caught and harvested from the wild and then sold as food, pets, clothing, medicine, ornaments, and so on. These exploitative practices are threatening the survival of many endangered species. The slogan GO WILD FOR LIFE calls to fight against the illegal trade and encourages all those around you to do what they can to prevent it. This slogan was the theme of the 2016 world Environment day.
Some Hard Facts about illegal trading:
- Over the past 40years alone, nearly 52% of the world’s wildlife have been wiped out of existence. Illegal trading is one among major drivers of biodiversity loss ranked after habitat loss.
- The illegal wildlife trade generates between five and 20 billion dollars annually. It is the fourth most lucrative illegal trade in the world and ranks right after drugs, human trafficking, and arms trade.
- Once roamed in millions, there are less than 5000 tigers left on earth and only around 3000 of them are left in the wild. The frenzy for tiger parts for traditional medicines in Asia worsening the survival of tigers.
- Between 35000-50000 African elephants are poached every year for the harvest of Ivory. There were 3-5 million African elephants half a century ago which now reduced to around 470000. Same is the case of Asiatic elephants.
- Three Rhinos are poached every day
- More than one million pangolins have been traded in the past decade.
- 28300 freshwater turtles are traded each day. Around 80% of Asia’s freshwater turtle are in danger of extinction.
- All species of blue fin tuna have been declared critically endangered with illegal fishing.
- Over 1000 rangers have been killed in the last 10
years by poachers.
To sum up, in the words of Chief of Seattle:
“What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth.