World Wildlife Crime Report 2020: Trafficking in protected species
The World Wildlife Crime Report 2020 outlines how trafficking in some wild species, which are then butchered and sold illegally, can increase the transmission of diseases that spread from animals to humans. Zoonotic diseases represent up to 75 per cent of all emerging infectious diseases and include the new coronavirus that caused the global pandemic. The report highlights the trafficking of wild species such as pangolins, which have been identified as a potential source of coronaviruses. Seizures of pangolin scales increased tenfold between 2014 and 2018, making them the most trafficked wild mammals in the world. Nearly 6,000 species were seized over the past decade, which include mammals but also reptiles, corals, birds and fish. No single country was identified as the source of more than 9 per cent of the total number of seized shipments, while suspected traffickers represented roughly 150 nationalities, underscoring the global nature of these crimes.