3 Easy Ways You Can Help Stop Wildlife Trafficking
Why you should be concerned about wildlife trafficking as a traveler:
- Educate yourself before you travel. Wildlife trafficking is more common than you might think. Be informed and buy informed.
- Travel with companies that have strong values around wildlife and environmental protection.
- Spread the word - share with your friends, family and on your social media channels to ensure their choices do not negatively affect endangered species.
Wildlife around the world are under threat. From climate change to habitat loss, animals around the world are suffering steep population declines. But in the last decade, illegal poaching has been pushing endangered animals to the brink of extinction. An unprecedented global demand for exotic wildlife products has triggered an industrial-scale killing spree of endangered species like elephants, rhinos, tigers and other endangered animals. Wildlife trafficking is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry. Money from the illegal wildlife trade has been linked to organized crime, drug lords, gangs, and corrupt Governments —all at the expense of wild animals, the environment, and our national security. As animals disappear from the wild, the opportunity to view them decreases.
For the animals, this is a matter of life and death. But for many who depend on tourist revenues, it’s a matter of livelihood as well. Ensuring that animals remain in the wild is not only good for the wildlife and ecosystems, but it’s also good for local businesses and for travelers.
We encourage you to join our coordinated effort to help us raise awareness about wildlife trafficking and educate travelers about how to make smart purchasing choices that don’t harm endangered populations. When travelers understand how they can do their part to stem the global demand for illegal wildlife products, we can help save the world’s most iconic species – and help preserve opportunities for future generations to travel and enjoy their grandeur as well.
AVOIDThese items are generally prohibited from being brought into the U.S.
- All sea turtle and pangolin products
- Ivory, raw and carved
- Fur from tigers, most spotted cats, seals, polar bears and sea otters
- Live monkeys or apes
- Most live birds, including parrots, macaws, cockatoos and finches
- Wild bird feathers and mounted birds
- Medicinals made from rhino, tiger or Asiatic black bear
ASKThese items may be prohibited from being brought into the U.S.
- Some live snakes, turtles, crocodilians and lizards
- Certain leather products, including some made from caiman, crocodiles, lizards and snakes
- Some corals, coral products and shells
- Certain plants—particularly orchids, cacti and cycads