International wildlife trafficking is worth an estimated $10-20 billion per year annually, making it one of the world’s largest illicit trades after illegal drugs, arms and human trafficking. The United States is a chief consumer of wildlife products (both legal and illegal), but a recent poll commissioned by WildAid found 80 percent of Americans know little or nothing about illegal wildlife trade within the United States. As a result, travelers often are unaware that products they bring into the United States are prohibited.
This week marked the beginning of a fresh start for Casquita, an Olive Ridley sea turtle in Ecuador. Accompanied by children from the local community, Casquita triumphantly made her way back to the sea after recovering from injuries inflicted by a boat propeller and malnutrition.
We’re pleased to announce that Jay Chou, one of Asia's biggest celebrities, has joined the fight with WildAid in a new campaign against rhino horn, shark fin, elephant ivory and other products that are decimating wildlife.
Chou is a native of Taiwan, once a hotbed for rhino horn trafficking and consumption. In fact, in the early 1990s, Taiwan was the biggest consumer of rhino horn, contributing to a poaching crisis at the time that decimated rhino populations. But thanks to decisive new laws and a mass education campaign, Taiwan ended its trade in rhino horn. Since then, rhino populations rebounded until new demand for rhino horn developed in Vietnam and mainland China, where it is peddled as a panacea for ailments and diseases, from hangovers to cancer. Currently about 1,200 rhinos are killed each year in South Africa.
We developed an enforcement plan for Santa Elena that focuses on conservation priorities of the area. As per the plan, Santa Elena park wardens carry out both preventive and control measures to protect the reserve’s marine wildlife.
It's a simple, grim fact: Up to 33,000 elephants are killed each year to satisfy the demand for ivory products in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, the United States and other major markets.
WildAid is working to end the ivory trade and protect elephants. With your support,here's what we're doing to fight for Africa's elephants, 365 days a year:
1. Exposing illicit ivory markets.
Our investigations have uncovered overwhelming evidence of ivory traders in Hong Kong flouting licensing regulations and routinely replenishing their stocks with ivory laundered from recently poached African elephants. WildAid is a leading voice in urging Hong Kong policymakers to shutter the local trade. (Click here to view undercover footage from the investigation.)