Published: Wednesday 15 May 2002

-- Beast Threat
Many animals, under threat from humans, have gone locally extinct.

A recent report of the Wildlife Conservation Society (wcs) states that Asia's wildlife is in trouble due to indiscriminate hunting and illegal trade in animal parts.

Tigers across Indo-China have disappeared. They were hunted down as trophy and for use in the traditional medicine trade. In Vietnam, large mammals and birds, like the Sumatran rhino, Siamese crocodile and Eld's deer, have gone locally extinct since the end of the Indo-China war. This was revealed in a recent workshop of the wcs, held at the Khao Yai National Park in Thailand.

According to a survey of the wcs, hunting has put half of Asia's turtles on the endangered species list, with at least one million turtles exported from Indonesia alone each year.

Over a million kilograms of snakes are imported to Shanghai each year serving as a luxury food item. More than 350,000 birds are sold in a single Jakarta market each year. At Bangkok's weekend market, trade has been pushed underground. In the late 1990s investigators documented the sale of 72,000 birds from 276 species in just 25 visits to the market.

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