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The trafficking of exotic animals in Peru; photo: Mongabay

Illegal trafficking of exotic animals in Peru

An interesting report from CCTV America correspondent Dan Collyns worth watching


Due to its three main geographical zones - the coast, the Andean highlands and the Amazon rainforest -, the Pacific Ocean right at the front door and a large variety of climates and micro-climates, including 28 of the 32 world climates, Peru is one of the most bio-diverse country’s in the world. The country gives around 500 mammal species, nearly 1800 bird species, over 300 species of reptiles, about 400 amphibians species, more or less 2.000 species of fish and countless insect species a home; some of the species are endemic to the country and / or endangered or near extinction. Peru has an equally diverse amount of plants, approximately 10% of the worldwide species of flora.

This abundance of biodiversity especially in exotic animals combined with poverty and corruption unfortunately encourages the illegal capture and sale of wildlife in Peru. On markets throughout Peru protected animals are sold either for consumption or “entertainment” and numerous dealers with their sidekicks capture countless animals and send them abroad – most of them sadly don’t survive the strains.

The wildlife trade is considered one of the largest cross-border, organized crime activities in the world ranking fourth after drugs, arms and human trafficking and being worth a staggering US$ 20 billion per year; and Peruvians are among the many players.

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