Illegal wild­life trade

“Every oran­gutan orphan in our rescue centres repres­ents a dead oran­gutan mother. For a mother oran­gutan would never leave her baby alone.“
Dr Jamartin Sihite, CEO of the BOS Foundation

Grea­test threat to biodiversity

While inter­na­tional experts rarely reach a consensus, they do on this parti­cular issue: illegal global wild­life trade is one of the grea­test threats to biodi­ver­sity, espe­ci­ally for species like oran­gutans that are already endangered.

While it is legally prohi­bited in Indo­nesia, oran­gutans are still being hunted, typi­cally to obtain their highly valued babies, which are traded at a high price on the black market. These infants are subse­quently smug­gled abroad, ending up in private zoos and amuse­ment parks or being kept as pets. It is a lucra­tive business.

The fight against illegal wild­life trade

Starting with the 69th UN General Assembly in New York in 2014, a reso­lu­tion to combat poaching and illegal wild­life trade has been adopted every year. Almost all states have also already declared their oppo­si­tion to wild­life smugg­ling in the 1975 Washington Conven­tion on Inter­na­tional Trade in Endan­gered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Unfort­u­na­tely, reality shows a diffe­rent picture. By now, the illegal trade in protected animal and plant products ranks fourth among orga­nised crime world­wide — behind drug traf­fi­cking, human traf­fi­cking and product piracy. The growing turnover is esti­mated to range between eight and 20 billion euros per year.

 

Stop­ping wild­life trafficking

Poaching and the illegal wild­life trade should no longer solely fall under the domain of species conser­va­tion but also be addressed within foreign and secu­rity policy. This is because the proceeds from poaching often fund further criminal acti­vi­ties. For this reason, among others, we require a signi­fi­cantly stronger commit­ment from the inter­na­tional commu­nity to halt the illegal wild­life trade.

Do we need more laws against wild­life trafficking?

No. Adequate laws exist. However, compli­ance with them must be enforced, both natio­nally and inter­na­tio­nally. And if laws are violated, drastic finan­cial conse­quences should follow. Orga­nised crime cannot be defeated with appeals alone.

Der Kampf gegen den ille­galen Handel mit Wildtieren

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More Infor­ma­tion

BOS Stands with Victims of the Wild­life Trade

We at BOS are comba­ting this unfort­u­na­tely still rela­tively unknown threat. Over the past 30 years, we have rescued oran­gutans from Taiwan, Kuwait, and parti­cu­larly Thai­land. Regrett­ably, many of these rescued oran­gutans cannot be released back into the wild due to certain dise­ases trans­mitted by humans or because of their age. For this reason, BOS supports not only the rescue and poten­tial repa­tria­tion of these animals to Indo­nesia but also provides the best possible accom­mo­da­tion for oran­gutans that can no longer be released into the wild in Thailand.

We are conti­nu­ally working on estab­li­shing an informal network of supporters. Simul­ta­neously, we are inten­si­fying our efforts to apply targeted poli­tical pres­sure. If you have any further ques­tions or sugges­tions regar­ding the issue of illegal wild­life trade, please don’t hesi­tate to contact Daniel Merdes, Mana­ging Director of BOS Germany. (030 — 890 60 76 — 22
daniel.merdes@bos-deutschland.de )

Make a dona­tion for the orangutans

Make a one-time donation

Oran­gutans need our help! With your dona­tion for the oran­gutans you accom­pany and support an oran­gutan on its journey until its release into the wild.

Orang-Utan-Retter werden

Make a dona­tion for the orangutans

Make a one-time donation

Oran­gutans need our help! With your dona­tion for the oran­gutans you accom­pany and support an oran­gutan on its journey until its release into the wild.

Orang-Utan-Retter werden

Frequently asked questions

What is illegal wild­life trade?

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In illegal animal traf­fi­cking, animals are hunted and traded, even though there is a ban on hunting and trading them under the Washington Conven­tion on Inter­na­tional Trade in Endan­gered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This ban also applies to the products derived from these animals.

After drug traf­fi­cking, human traf­fi­cking, and product piracy, wild­life traf­fi­cking is the largest illegal busi­ness world­wide. The asso­ciated plun­de­ring of wild animal and plant species is one of the grea­test threats to biodiversity.

Malayan bear bile for eye ailm­ents, rhino horn powder as an aphro­di­siac, or the adorable oran­gutan baby as a toy for billionaires or a cash cow in amuse­ment parks – millions of wild animals are captured, tortured, and killed every year.

Which animals are affected by poaching?

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Elephants, rhinos, amphi­bians, reptiles, rare birds, primates and wild cats are among the most sought-after victims of poaching and illegal wild­life trade worldwide.

What makes people poach?

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The people who hunt, capture or kill animals ille­gally in most cases do so in order to provide a small income for them­selves and their family. Thus, they often do it out of neces­sity. The big finan­cial gains in this dirty busi­ness are being made by unscru­pu­lous midd­lemen and large mafia traf­fi­cking rings.
For this reason, we work inten­si­vely with many commu­ni­ties in Borneo, carry out educa­tional work and have become one of the largest employers in the region ourselves. Because people who realise that the value of an animal and its habitat is greater and more important than a few quickly earned rupiahs will prefer to work for the benefit of nature instead of plun­de­ring it.

What is the global ranking of illegal wild­life traf­fi­cking within orga­nized crime?

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By now, the illegal trade in protected animal and plant products ranks fourth among orga­nised crime world­wide — behind drug traf­fi­cking, human traf­fi­cking and product piracy, with an esti­mated annual turnover between eight and 20 billion euros.

Sonja Wende

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Dona­tions are a matter of trust

Trans­pa­rent use of funds is a matter of course for us. In September 2013, we joined the a non profit initia­tive of Trans­pa­rency Inter­na­tional Germany and signed its decla­ra­tion of commitment.