South East Asia’s Wildlife is in trouble but Wildlife Reserves Singapore and TRAFFIC have come together to end wildlife trade through the ‘You Buy They Die’ campaign.
Illegal Wildlife Trade is a multi-billion dollar business. It sits alongside drugs, arms and human trafficking as some of the most profitable illicit trades on the planet. Highly endangered species are specifically targeted to meet demand for luxury items, pets, medicine and meats.
The year long campaign will run at Singapore Zoo, River Safari and Jurong Bird Park adding a somber tone to visits to this normally child-friendly setting.
Interpretatives are planned with shocking graphics of rhinos with their horns sawn off, dead pangolin mothers with their babies, a bear with its gall bladder removed from its stomach and dead bats which are being sold for meat.
Chairman of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Ms Claire Chang said, “Illegal wildlife trade often goes unnoticed in our day to day living, but can have devastating consequences, pushing many animal species to the brink of extinction. It is imperative that people understand how the diverse markets for animal parts can severely threaten the survival of these species. We hope that by presenting the facts to our visitors, people will be more conscious and do their part for the conservation of endangered wildlife.”
The project aims to curb demand for wildlife products and encourage the public to report wildlife cases to local authorities.
Kids will be educated about this through the Ranger Ooz Education Trail running from 14-22 March 2015. Kids will participate in activity sheets and interactive exhibits on how to fight illegal wildlife trade. Every kid visiting a WRS park will receive a ranger awareness kit which they can take home.
“Fighting wildlife crime is everyone’s responsibility and we’re glad to see organisations like WRS take up the call. By investing funds and using their powerful reach to galvanize public support, they’re giving the effort an immense boost.” Explained Dr. Chris R. Shepherd, Regional Director for TRAFFIC in South-East Asia. “The key message to the public really is that everyone has a role to play in bringing about an end to the illegal wildlife trade.”
While TRAFFIC and WRS have previously collaborated on projects looking to research the illegal wildlife trade and helping with wildlife conservation by providing identification guides and training they chose to formalise their ties this time. This was done by signing a memorandum of understanding.
WRS rescue wildlife which has been confiscated as they have done for the past two decades.
Photo Credits: WRS