Sunday, 11 March 2018

Jaguars killed for fangs to supply growing Chinese medicine trade

Demand from Chinese workers raises demand for skin and body parts of endangered species

Robin McKie, Observer science editor
Sun 4 Mar 2018 07.00 GMT

Conservationists who have uncovered a growing illegal trade in jaguar fangs in South America are linking it to Chinese construction projects that could be threatening wildlife globally.

Experts say major Chinese power plant, road and rail works in developing nations are key stimulants of illicit trade in the skins, bones and horns of endangered animals.

Local people find out that Chinese construction workers have an interest in buying animal bones, horns and body parts for their supposed medical properties and an illicit trade is established. “Essentially, these projects act like giant vacuum cleaners of wildlife that suck everything back to China,” a conservation researcher, Vincent Nijman, of Oxford Brookes University, said last week. “It is a real worry.”

The problem in South America is of particular concern. More than 100 jaguars – a species whose numbers are dwindling – may have been killed in less than a year to supply a trade in their body parts with China. As tiger parts – which are prized by practitioners of Chinese traditional medicine – are becoming scarcer, so a market is opening up for organs from other big cats, including the jaguar.

Two examples of jaguar deaths are given in the current issue of Nature. It reports that on Boxing Day last year, the body of a jaguar was found floating in a drainage canal in Belize in central America.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails