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Tiger trafficking looms large; no visible decline in illegal trade trends, says WWF

The report found there had been 801 recorded seizures of tigers and tiger products across Asia since 2000.


Tiger trafficking looms large; no visible decline in illegal trade trends, says WWF

New Delhi: Illegal wildlife trade is an unrivaled, flourishing business and is continually on the rise. The kind of torture and harassment that innocent animals are subjected to in the hands of poachers and traders is unfathomable.

Since all businesses – irrespective of their legal standards – have a backing element, this one has always been encouraged by another booming practice called poaching.

Today, poaching is the number one reason for the rapid decline in the population of animals in the world.

One of the top-most animals in the world's growing list of endangered species are Tigers. Their skin and fangs are what tempts poachers into capturing and brutally killing them.

These beautiful big cats that are renowned fierce predators, are comparatively helpless once they are captured.

The WWF estimates that there are 5,000 tigers being kept in US backyards, whereas, there are only a little over 3,000 left in the wild.

Now, a new report from TRAFFIC and WWF finds no evidence of a decline in tiger trafficking across Asia, with parts equating to a minimum of 1755 tigers seized between 2000 and 2015 – an average of more than two animals per week.

The report found there had been 801 recorded seizures of tigers and tiger products across Asia since 2000.

As per WWF, with only an estimated 3,900 tigers left in the wild, evidence indicates that an increasing number of seized animals undoubtedly originate from captive breeding operations: at least 30% of the tigers seized in 2012-2015 were known to be of captive-sourced tigers.

The report also highlighted an apparent rise in the seizures of live tigers, particularly in Thailand and Viet Nam, with 17 animals seized from 2000-2004 and 186 animals in the last four years. It is widely believed the increase in live seizures is directly related to the rise in tiger farms.

The WWF further reported that, in a move to combat the poaching of tigers collaboratively, India is asking other governments at CoP17 to share photographic evidence of seized tiger skins for comparison with camera trap images of wild tigers held in a database. Each tiger’s stripe pattern is unique, much like a person’s fingerprints, so this would help enforcement agencies and tiger biologists to identify poached tigers and trace their origins.

There has been an international ban on the trade in tigers and their products for decades, yet poaching for illegal trade remains the greatest direct threat to their survival.

From Zee News

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