Sullivan, M. (2003, November 3-5). Southeast Asia's Illegal Wildlife Trade. National Public Radio. [Online]. Available: http://www.npr.org/programs/re/archivesdate/2003/nov/wildlife/index.html [2003, November 3-5].
Profits, Demand Fuel Commerce in Endangered Species
Southeast Asia; trade; illegal; crime; Thailand; Myanmar; Burma
Illegal wildlife trade totals billions of dollars a year globally, but conservationists say the problem is most acute in Southeast Asia. Despite international and local laws designed to crack down on the trade, live animals and animal parts -- often those of endangered or threatened species -- are sold in open-air markets throughout the region. Growing demand, porous borders and the lure of big money make it a lucrative business. For National Geographic Radio Expeditions, NPR's Michael Sullivan reports.
The animals involved in the trade end up as trophies, or in specialty restaurants. Some are used in traditional Asian medicines. Chris Shepherd of the monitoring group Traffic International says that as a result, many species are simply disappearing.
"The two species of Asian rhinos in Southeast Asia -- Sumatran and Java rhinos -- are locally extinct in many places, and some countries have lost them altogether," Shepherd says. "Freshwater turtles in a lot of areas are finished...