BLOG SURF: Wildlife crime

First, wildlife protection laws and enforcement need strengthening to deter smugglers, for whom the huge profits outweigh the low penalties.

For instance, 1 kg of ivory can fetch over $2,200, but in some Asian countries convicted poachers are sentenced to just one month in prison. Second, local authorities are often ill equipped to deal with transnational organized crime.

A few park rangers with small handguns can face an army of smugglers armed with heavy weapons and night-vision goggles. Third, poverty lures people to commit wildlife crimes, and most local poachers are desperate for cash.

Finally, consumer patterns have not changed, and many people still see a leopard-skin bag as a fashion statement, buy Bengal tigers as pets, and believe that rhino horns cure cancer. More information will help fight this crime.

Information today a just a click away. Learn more about the endangered species, and understand the issues surrounding them.