BBC Radio 4’s Crossing Continents (May’15) tackles Peru’s illicit wildlife trading: Linda Pressly goes on operations with the wildlife police.
Peru is one of the most biodiverse nations in the world, which is currently under threat of exploitation due to illicit wildlife trading; a global market which is worth an estimated 20 billion dollars a year.
The radio piece touches on rare and exotic birds being sold in shops, the trading of wildlife in remote parts of the Amazon jungle and ‘frogshakes’ where market vendors blend almost-extinct frogs (from the Andes) into aphrodisiac juices.
It seems unsurprising that allegations have been made in which the trade of illegal wildlife is tied up with that of Peru’s cocaine trafficking. While in some cases, such as Anahia’s, she trades birds or wildlife to supplement her income, in order to survive.
The attempts made by Peru to protect their precious resources, seem to be on a case by case basis. Last year only 7 people were taken to prison, which begs the question, perhaps a bigger plan might be better?
If you missed it on Radio 4, you can take a listen here.