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Corruption, toothless laws, weak judicial systems and light sentences allow criminal networks to keep plundering wildlife with little regard to consequences.
Just as overfishing causes imbalances in the whole marine system, our complex web of life on earth depends on careful and thoughtful use of wildlife species and their habitats.
Many invasive species have been purposely introduced by wildlife traders or buyers.
We also assist enforcement efforts and fund antipoaching brigades.
One of the most powerful tools for addressing illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade is persuading consumers to make informed choices.
As human populations have grown, so has the demand for wildlife.
People in many countries are accustomed to a lifestyle which fuels demand for wildlife.Some rural households depend on wild animals for protein, trees for fuel, and both wild animals and plants for natural cures.Overexploitation of species affects the living planet in wider ways.These invasive species prey on or compete with native species and are a major threat to the balance of nature.For example pet Burmese pythons let loose by their owners are now considered a major pest in Florida’s everglades.Rhino horn, elephant ivory and tiger products continue to command high prices among consumers, especially in Asia.In Vietnam, the recent myth that rhino horn can cure cancer has led to massive poaching in South Africa and pushed the price of rhino horn to rival gold.These areas are called “wildlife trade hotspots.” They include China's international borders, trade hubs in East/Southern Africa and Southeast Asia, the eastern borders of the European Union, some markets in Mexico, parts of the Caribbean, parts of Indonesia and New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.While these hotspots might be trouble areas at present, they also offer opportunities for great conservation success, if action and funds are well-focused.We encourage the production and purchase of sustainable wildlife goods such as those certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).WWF works hand-in-hand with communities around the world, providing practical support to overcome poverty and help them use local wildlife in a sustainable way.