Myanmar Wildlife Pays the Price for Chinese Demand

A country with a repressive government and dire poverty can attract the wrong kind of tourists. Such tourists arrive in Myanmar, not to admire lush forests, open grasslands or wildlife, but rather take advantage of a black market for rare species. Mong La, along the Chinese border, has branched out from offering opium and prostitutes to marketing exotic species for visitors. Gangs offer rare birds, snakes and monkeys – many on the lUCN World Conservation Union list of threatened species. “The Chinese government has stepped up efforts in recent years to stamp out the domestic wildlife trade and educate people about the environmental perils of stripping forests of their native flora and fauna,” reports a Reuters article. “However, the appetite for exotica remains and, partly as a result of the crackdown, the trade has intensified beyond China's borders.” The ruling military junta in Myanmar has also taken steps to ban sales of endangered animals and set aside some lands for conservation – but fails to control criminal gangs whose links extend into Myanmar, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and India. – YaleGlobal

Myanmar Wildlife Pays the Price for Chinese Demand

Monday, March 3, 2008

Click here for the original article on Reuters.

Click here to see the IUCN 2007 list of threatened species.

Reuters 2008. All rights reserved.

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