Graceful, colorful feathered macaws- they are admired in films, magazines and local pet shops. Many people want a pet bird and believe they can buy an animal born in captivity – which sounds bad enough, but worse – these birds are often the victims of poaching.
Not just a threat in Africa
While most people are aware of poaching in Africa (such as elephant hunting and ivory tusks), many are unaware of those in Latin America. Poachers hunt and capture parrots, turtles and monkeys and often sell them illegally; mostly on black markets and for tons of money. Over 50% of the world’s known species are threatened by mass extinctions caused solely by humans, not nature.
Birds from South America are considered the most beautiful birds due to their colorful plumage or unique features such as their song. Quite a few people aspire to keep a South American bird at home, and if they buy one, they believe it was bred in captivity. A fact that many people are unaware of- these birds are the victims of the work of poachers.
China Bird Poaching
More animals affected than you might think
While most people believe that mainly lions and elephants are hunted by poachers, in reality many other species are affected including different types of birds. Here’s a news article from The Guardian: Rare bird being driven to extinction by poaching for its ‘red ivory’ bill
In South America, poachers hunt and sell birds, lizards, monkeys, tapirs, fish, jaguars, caimans and turtles. Did you know there are only seven species of sea turtles in the world? In almost every case, poachers in Costa Rica steal turtle eggs from the nests and sell them – even locals are among the poachers.
Tormenting animal transport
In most cases, the animals suffer from unacceptable transport conditions: for example, the beaks and feet of parrots are stuck together and the animals are then stuffed into plastic containers. Baby turtles are stuck in their eggshells so that they can not move and are transported in dozens of small containers. Poachers even deliberately kill animals. In one case, 400 iguanas were left behind in a wooden box – for two weeks without food, water or daylight because a dealer had canceled the deal. As a result, half of the animals died. Sadly, many animals are so sick that they can no longer be rescued because their chances of recovery are nil.
A threat to humanity
Poaching is also a real threat to human health. As more and more non-native animals are imported into other countries, we run the risk of becoming infected with various types of diseases that are not related to local animal species.
Note: 75% of all new infectious diseases (including SARS and Ebola) are from animals.