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[Graphic News] Over 4,000 species affected by global wildlife crime

By Nam Kyung-don

Published : May 30, 2024 - 08:00

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Illegal trafficking of plant and animal wildlife remains stubbornly prevalent, according to a UN report, and it is critical governments focus on more than just “iconic” species like elephants, where progress has been made.

While seizures reported in 2020 and 2021 were around half that of previous reports, that could be attributed to pandemic-linked disruptions rather than a decline in actual trafficking, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime World Wildlife Crime Report said.

Wildlife crime, “such as the illegal collection of succulent plants and rare orchids,” and the trafficking of many kinds of reptiles, fish, birds and mammals, has played a key role in local or global extinctions, it said.

In 2015-2021, seizures of 13 million items showed an illegal trade in around 4,000 plant and animal species across 162 countries and territories, the report said. The most common species involved were corals (16 percent), crocodilians (9 percent) and elephants (6 percent). (Reuters)