Today is Endangered Species Day: what you should know

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Today is Endangered Species Day. The message LiveAuctioneers would like to convey, as a partner in association with the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, is that wildlife trafficking is an international crisis, with an unprecedented increase noted in illegal wildlife trade throughout the world over the past 30 years. Populations of endangered species have plummeted, yet the illegal trade shows no indication of slowing down. An unprecedented global demand for exotic wildlife products has triggered an industrial-scale killing spree of endangered species animals on land and sea. Wildlife trafficking, which depends on the killing of hundreds of thousands of animals, is a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry. Money from the illegal wildlife trade has been linked to terrorist organizations, drug lords, gangs, and corrupt governments—all at the expense of wild animals, the environment, and our national security.

Wildlife Trafficking is a Global Problem

Although the loss of African wildlife garners the most attention, wildlife traffickers are decimating important wildlife populations in many nations. Important species are being poached in Latin America, the Caribbean, South America, Asia, and the U.S. And once the products are smuggled out of the home country, they enter an industrial-scale illegal trade that spans the globe. Wildlife experts have confirmed that if we don’t act quickly, trafficking will wipe out many endangered species in our lifetime. A recent World Wildlife Fund report reveals that we have already lost 58% of wildlife in the past four decades; and by 2020, we may lose two-thirds.

WTA Members Leading the Way

LiveAuctioneers is working with the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (WTA) to help combat wildlife trafficking and protect endangered species from illegal trade. The WTA is a coalition of more than 70 leading nonprofit organizations, companies, and AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums that are working together to combat wildlife trafficking by: (1) raising public awareness; (2) reducing consumer demand for wildlife and wildlife products; and (3) mobilizing companies to adopt best practices and help close off wildlife traffickers’ supply chains.

To learn which animals are endangered, how to make sure you don’t buy products from endangered species, and how to spread the word about the plight of the many animal species that are in dangerous decline, visit WildlifeTraffickingAlliance.org/buyinformed

About the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance

The Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (WTA) is a coalition of more than 70 leading nonprofits, companies, and AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums that are working together to combat wildlife trafficking. WTA works in a coalition to: (1) raise awareness with consumers about the illegal wildlife trade; (2) effect behavior change and reduce consumer demand for illegal wildlife products through targeted messaging and campaigns; and (3) mobilize responsible corporations in key industries to help cut off traffickers’ access to consumer markets and use their communications channels to assist in raising public awareness and changing consumer behavior, including demand. WTA is a program of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

About the Association of Zoos & Aquariums

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.

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