So what’s worse than buying powdered black rhino horn from a back alley Shenzen apothecary to cure your impotence? Paying too much for black rhino horn at aforementioned back alley apothecary! Luckily, I came upon an interesting table at Havocscope, which provides indexes of black market industries, including animal trafficking. While these metrics are certainly depressing, this sort of information helps conservationists understand the economic challenges they are up against, and plan their strategies accordingly.
The sources for these numbers are listed at Havocscope. As any longterm Zooillogix reader knows, animal trafficking is the #1 threat to many species worldwide. Although most prevalent, in Southeast Asia, Africa, and parts of the Amazon, animal trafficking has been documented on every continent (including Antarctica if you count whaling). While many of these animals are destined to become luxury goods (ivory), dinner (delicious whale and bush meat), or pets (slow lorises), the explosive growth of the Chinese demand for exotic animals to be used in traditional medicines has been particularly devastating.
Things you should buy at back-alley Chinese apothecaries instead of tiger penis: