At first, the agents couldn't tell what creatures were crammed into these plastic bottles. This was an attempt to illegally trade Sulphur-crested cockatoos.Jangan Bangga Memelihara Hewan Langka di Rumah, Kembalikan ke Alam http://t.co/ZHIKNk0A8G pic.twitter.com/ThqjGuKfkx— Pengepul Berita (@Info_Ipul) May 8, 2015
These beautiful birds sell for about $900 each on the black market. But that is just the tip of the iceberg: It's estimated that illegal animal trading makes over 22 billion dollars in revenue each year. This booming industry has devastating effects on local flora and fauna.PETITION contre le Transport clandestin des cacatoès (7000) dans des bouteilles d’eau vide!!! https://t.co/EgiaYc1kP9 pic.twitter.com/4hPBqTlTSV— Edwina PHUNG (@edwinaphung) May 14, 2015
Indonésie : Des cacatoès dissimulés dans des bouteilles d'eau ! #biodiversite http://t.co/rSJPaLqJev pic.twitter.com/3awDhby4Rl— Alice Vachet (@AliceVachet) May 7, 2015
In Indonesia alone there are 13 species of birds, and numerous subspecies, that are at risk of extinction - a direct result of poaching and illegal animal trade. Of course, this problem doesn't just affect countries in Asia, but around the globe. It's suspected that powerful cartels are behind the operations of illegal animal trade, which is apparently almost as lucrative as illegal drug or human trafficking.
Kodong, kisah 21 burung kakatua diselundupkan dimasukkan dlm botol, 11 akhirnya mati https://t.co/zdWN2SvygY pic.twitter.com/rmtCseqL4b— #3TahunDaengInfo (@Daeng_Info) November 30, 2015
Poachers are actually robbing themselves of their own business: Poaching is a huge cause of species extinction, which naturally causes problems for poachers in return. Many are now attempting to breed rare species in captivity. It would appear that demand is only on the rise and the black market is growing.
So far illegal bird trading has been primarily focused around East Asian countries, but it is just a matter of time before native birds closer to home are targeted. Endangered bird species exist in most regions of the world.
It's high time that poachers are stopped. A first step is putting the spotlight on the awful practices of illegal animal trade. Share this article if you'd like to help put a stop to this madness!