Wildlife trade refers to the commerce of products that are derived from non-domesticated animals or plants usually extracted from their natural environment or raised under controlled conditions. It can involve the trade of living or dead individuals, tissues such as skins, bones or meat, or other products. Legal wildlife trade is regulated by the United Nations’ Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which currently has 183 member countries called Parties. Illegal wildlife trade is widespread and constitutes one of the major illegal economic activities, comparable to the traffic of drugs and weapons. Wildlife trade is a serious conservation problem, has a negative effect on the viability of many wildlife populations and is one of the major threats to the survival of vertebrate species. The illegal wildlife trade has been linked to the emergence and spread of new infectious diseases in humans, including emergent viruses.Global initiative like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 15 have a target to end the illegal supply of wildlife.
- the most traded classes are Reptilia, Anthozoa, Mammalia, Aves and Actinopteri
- the main purpose is commercial
- the main source is the wild
- the largest importers are the US, Japan and Germany
- the largest exporters are the Netherlands, Indonesia and Italy