WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING IN CAMEROON (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     7th November 2023        
Samadhaan

Context: Cameroon ranked seventh out of 29 African nations in terms of being a source or transit point for illegal wildlife trafficking (IWT) during the decade spanning from 2009 to 2019, according to a new report.

Key Points of Report

  • The most frequently seized items included unprocessed elephant tusks, crafted ivory articles, pangolin scales, African Grey Parrots, and a variety of primate species.
  • Elephant-related products made up a significant 40 percent of seized commodities, ranging from raw tusks to crafted ivory, meat, tails, and bones. 
  • These elephant products were frequently bundled with other illicitly traded items. Some wildlife criminals even engaged in cyber-enabled IWT.
  • The report also brought to light that a significant 24 percent of cases displayed substantial indications of influence peddling and corruption within the legal process

Illegal Wildlife Trade

  • About: Illegal wildlife trade refers to the illegal activities involving the capture, collection, transport, and trade of wildlife and their products, including live animals, animal parts, and derivatives.
  • In India, trade in over 1,800 species of wild animals, plants, and their derivatives, is prohibited under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

African Elephants

  • The African elephant is the largest animal walking the Earth.
  • African elephants were treated as a single species, listed as Vulnerable; this is the 1st time two species have been assessed separately for the IUCN Red List, following the emergence of new genetic evidence.
  • Forest elephants occur in the tropical forests of Central Africa and in a range of habitats in West Africa. They rarely overlap with the range of the Savanna elephant.
  • Savanna elephant prefers open country and is found in a variety of habitats in Sub-Saharan Africa including grasslands and deserts.
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