Stolen Apes: The Illicit Trade in Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Bonobos and Orangutans - A Rapid Response Assessment

United Nations Environment Programme ; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ; Congo (2013)

The illegal trade in wildlife makes up one part of the multi-billion dollar business that is environmental crime and is increasingly being perpetrated at the cost of the poor and vulnerable. This report focuses on the trade of great apes – bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. The trafficking of these animals adds additional and unwelcome pressures on the already endangered species, which in many of their range States, attract tourism and thus contribute to the local economy. It is evident from this RRA as well as from previous reports from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and concerned non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that the live trade in great apes and the continued violations of the Convention must be taken seriously. The fight against the trade must tackle both organized crime and combat demand, while reducing bushmeat hunting associated with logging, mining, or agricultural expansion. Conservation and law enforcement efforts in protected areas are also crucial for reducing the number of apes being caught.

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