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Help us spill the secrets of wildlife trade criminals to reduce the threat of illegal trade on the future of wildlife.

Around the world, wildlife is being stolen from the wild or killed to be sold for traditional medicines, restaurant dishes, fashion or souvenir items or pets. Globally, illegal wildlife trade is the second greatest threat to species survival. For many species it is the greatest.

Illegal wildlife trade can take many forms and involve lots of different animal species. Today, around 14,000 bears are caged in bile extraction facilities across Asia to meet high demand for bear bile medicines. Many of these bears were taken from the wild. Around the world two wild rhinos are killed every day to meet demand for their horn, made of keratin which is falsely believed to have medicinal qualities and is thought to raise the buyers’ social status.

Illegal trade affects countless other animals including tigers, elephants, reptiles like tortoises, sharks, parrots, primates like orang-utans, and many, many more.

High market prices & low levels of enforcement make illegal wildlife trade appealing to international criminal networks.

How Taronga’s helping

Taronga is committed to working with leading conservation agencies, governments and other innovative partners from across the world to address the crisis in illegal wildlife trade.

>Many of our conservation partnerships focus on addressing the issue of wildlife trade. The wildlife protection and anti-poaching projects that Taronga supports occur in many locations in countries including Sumatra, India, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Click here for more information on these projects.

Taronga supports an organisation called TRAFFIC which is working to reduce illegal animal trade across the world. TRAFFIC operates a global wildlife monitoring network based in nearly 30 countries. They investigate incidence of illegal trade and work with national crime authorities to respond, as well as educating people on these important issues. Taronga is also raising public awareness about what we all can do to defend against the illegal wildlife trade.

How can you help?

Be an informed tourist – Before you buy a souvenir ask – “is it made from wildlife?”

Avoid medicines, souvenirs, fashion or menu items that are made from wild animals or their parts. This includes ivory, made from elephant tusks, medicines and foods made from animal parts, and also animals paraded for tourists which have been stolen from the wild, e.g. baby monkeys and orang-utans.

Report unusual or suspicious wildlife activity – Whether you’re at home or travelling, if you see something, report it. You might see it at restaurant, a market, a souvenir shop or even if you are walking in a National Park or bush land, this problem occurs in most countries around the world, including Australia.

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You can contact local Police or the Department of the Environment if you have reports from Australia or overseas. Thank you for helping to spill the secrets of wildlife trade criminals and reduce the threat of this illegal trade to the future of wildlife. Check out TRAFFIC for more information