What do you see when you look at a tiger? Orange with black stripes, right? Well, wildlife traffickers see something else: walking gold.
Tigers are prized for their body parts, which are used in traditional Asian medicines and as status symbols in some Asian cultures. Experts believe that as a result of hunting and other threats, as few as 3,200 tigers remain in the wild today. They could be extinct within decades if we don’t act now.
That’s where the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) comes in. A trade deal may not seem like an obvious way to help protect wild tigers from trafficking, but TPP is not an ordinary trade deal.
As the most progressive trade deal in history, TPP will put in place environmental standards that combat wildlife trafficking, as well as overfishing, in countries that sign on.
Check out some of the animals whose futures could be saved by TPP:
Vietnam is home to a species of leaf-eating langur that has become one of the most endangered primates in the world. It is sought-after for supposed medicinal qualities.
Trade in shark fins, used in a popular Asian soup, threatens three species of hammerhead sharks. These sharks are also taken as bycatch in some fisheries.
The demand for ivory products in affluent Asian countries is driving the increase in poaching, the most urgent threat to elephants today.
Despite laws protecting them in many places, sea turtles are hunted for their meat and eggs, a source of food and income in some tropical countries.
Trade in rhino horn has been illegal since 1977, but demand remains high. In some Asian countries, rhino horns are believed to have medicinal properties.
Popular for their patterned shells, star tortoises are rapidly disappearing from their native habitats and turning up in exotic pet markets across Asia.
The world’s most trafficked mammal, the pangolin is prized as a delicacy and for its supposed medicinal qualities in countries such as China and Vietnam.
Around 1,000 yellow-eared parrots live in the Andes of Colombia. Once believed extinct, they remain endangered today.