Wildlife trade drives alarming decline in some species, says study


Animals traded for pet industry, bushmeat, traditional medicine, ivory and lab use declined locally by up to 99.9%

Wildlife populations decline by an average of 62% in areas where species are traded, pushing some closer to extinction, according to a new report.

The first analysis to quantify the impact of the legal and illegal wildlife trade looked at 133 land-based species and found the most endangered – which typically have smaller populations – are most at risk, with average declines of 81%. In some cases this resulted in local disappearances, with certain populations of spider monkeys and Baird’s tapir declining by 99.9%, according to an international team of researchers led by Sheffield University.

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