The World Wildlife Fund recently released its biennial “10 Most Wanted Species” list, which draws attention to plants and animals that are endangered because of illegal trade and consumer demand.
Such familiar species as the great white shark are listed alongside lesser-known species like the humphead wrasse, a coral-dependent fish whose lips are considered a delicacy in East Asia. “Our list this year reflects the varied nature of modern wildlife trade,” said the World Wildlife Fund’s Ginette Hemley. “As well-known species have become overexploited for trade, more obscure species are increasingly targeted.” (Worldwildlife.org, September 2004) Also included on this year’s list are the tropical hardwood ramin, Irrawoody dolphins, tigers, Asian elephants, pig-nosed turtles, leaf-tailed geckos, Asian yew trees and yellow-crested cockatoos.
The “10 Most Wanted” list has been published just as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meets this month in Bangkok. CITES is the only global organization regulating trade in endangered animals and plants.
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