Poaching & trafficking endangering a growing list of species
Poaching is an up to $23 billion USD per year industry, according to estimates from the Smithsonian Institute. The illegal poaching and trade has brought numerous species to near extinction or worse. The population of African elephants has plummeted over 64% in the past decade, while two species of Rhino have gone extinct on the continent in recent years.
The United States is party to several treaties tasked with stopping the illegal trade of flora and fauna from around the world. CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, has centralized much of the policy used to enforce these laws globally.
Currently, Congress is considering a bill, H.R. 864: the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2019. In its official description, the bill would “support wildlife conservation, improve anti-trafficking enforcement, provide dedicated funding at no expense to taxpayers, and for other purposes.”
If the bill passes the House of Representatives, it will move on to the Senate, and then if successful, to President Trump for his signature. The bill was introduced by Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK).