WWF Report Reveals Best, Worst Countries in Illegal Trade of Tigers, Elephants, and Rhinos

Image copyright World Wildlife Fund.
Tigers, elephants, and rhinos are some of our most well-known megafauna...and also some of the most endangered. Despite efforts to ban or regulate trade in the parts of these highly endangered beings, illegal trade is still flourishing, demand is high, and more animals than ever are being killed.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) recently released a scorecard highlighting how well (or how poorly) the countries most involved in the illegal trade of the parts of elephant, tigers, and rhinos, are succeeding in helping curb trade and enforce laws. The Wildlife Crime Scorecard "assesses compliance with and enforcement of CITES commitments for tigers, rhinos and elephants." (CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species; CITES allows trade in species of wild animals, as long as it "does not threaten their survival.")

Although there are currently 175 member parties in CITES, WWF's report focuses on the 23 countries most involved with trade in tigers, elephants, and rhinos, both from where they're most often sourced and the most common destination countries. Each of these countries received a green, yellow, or red dot for how well they're complying with CITES commitments.

Green = General progress in key aspects of compliance AND enforcement
Yellow = Failing on key aspects of compliance OR enforcement
Red = Failing on key aspects of compliance AND enforcement

Only India and Nepal received green dots for each of the three species focused on in the report, while Vietnam, Mozambique, and Laos each had two red dots.

The key recommendations in the report are to focus on enforcement of already-existing laws, and to work to reduce consumer demand for these kinds of products.

Read the complete report.

To help increase awareness about this issue and bring pressure on governments to increase enforcement and consumers to reduce demand, WWF is starting a campaign.

~ Marsha

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