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Illegal Animal Trading Up 60 Percent

Posted on 31 October 2019

A new study has discovered some pretty shocking numbers reflecting the global wildlife trade: 5,579 out of the total 31,500 known species on Earth are currently being traded, which equals nearly 20 percent of all animals. This breaks down to one in four mammals and birds, one in ten amphibians, and one in eight reptiles. 

Headed by scientists from the University of Florida, the study found that animals were being traded at a rate 40 to 60 percent higher than previously thought. 

The illegal trade of wildlife forms one of the biggest industries on Earth. It’s worth an incredible US$8 to 21 billion, and the scientists behind the study think it will only get bigger as time goes on. This is concerning news for lots of different species, as illegal trade and overconsumption can seriously impact animal populations and eventually lead to extinction.  

The scientists involved in the study believe better conservation, bigger penalties, and improved monitoring can help protect these valuable animals. 

Here are the 10 most-traded endangered species facing the risk of extinction as a result of the illicit selling, according to conservation charities.

• Pangolin
• Tiger
• Elephants
• Bears
• Helmeted Hornbills
• Rhinos
• Serow
• Leopards