Thursday, 20 April 2017

Crime 'threatens nearly half the world's natural heritage sites'

By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent

18 April 2017

Poaching, illegal logging and fishing are threatening endangered species in some of the world's most iconic natural sites, according to a report.

Conservation charity WWF says almost half of the world's 200 designated natural heritage sites are "plagued" by wildlife criminals.

These include the last refuges for critically endangered javan rhinos and wild tigers.

The authors say more co-ordination is needed to target the whole crime chain.

From the Great Barrier Reef to the Galapagos Islands and at many other locations across the globe, Unesco has designated around 200 natural World Heritage sites as being of outstanding international importance and deserving of the highest levels of protections.

WWF looked at the threats to species that are already protected under the Convention on the International Trades in Endangered Species (CITES).

The authors found that these threatened animals and plants are poached or illegally harvested in 45% of natural World Heritage sites.

Many of the parks in the study are home to critically endangered creatures - including Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia, which is the last stand for around 60 javan rhinos.

Continued

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