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Wildlife Trade

Wildlife is in crisis all over the world, especially in Asia, with many animal and plant species driven closer to extinction every day. Less than nine percent of the earth has been set aside for protected areas and there is constant pressure from rampant development and commercial activities to reduce these areas even further. Poaching and the black market trade in wildlife has become a massive, multi-billion dollar business, with trafficking routes extending from remote national parks and protected areas, where animals are extracted, to major urban centres where they are sold and consumed.

For the first time in human history, more people now live in urban environments than rural ones. Collectively we are losing the close relationship we once had with the natural systems that support us all and our basic respect and appreciation for these systems. As a result most people are unaware of the great loss that is currently occurring on our planet. Until recently our earth was covered largely in ancient forests rich with an incredible diversity of species. People enjoyed rivers and wetlands full of fish and forests teaming with a seemingly endless amount of natural resources that were an intergral part of culture and society.

Now as we enter the 21st century we face an unprecedented human challenge. The loss of species due largely to a massive global illicit trade is now seriously threatening the viability of ecosystems, the same ecosystems our lives depend on. The business of selling wildlife is now so rampant and the volumes involved so large there is a real and imminent threat that if it is not stopped or significantly reduced very soon we will lose the natural diversity that is essential for earth to function effectively. These images are a selection from over 15 years of shooting wildlife trade issues. Asian markets remain the primary driver for trade and consumption of wildlife. There is much at stake, attitudes must change if the human enterprise is to proceed. The choice is ours.

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