Wildlife Trade Report
Trading in Extinction: The Dark Side of Hong Kong’s Wildlife Trade
The report ‘Trading in Extinction: The Dark Side of Hong Kong’s Wildlife Trade‘, consolidates a large body of pre-existing work and reconciles this with a snapshot of Hong Kong’s seizure data. It aims to update and, for the first time, illustrate the extent and nature of the wildlife trade and wildlife crime in Hong Kong. It demonstrates that not only is the trade in legal and illegal wildlife at a significant and unsustainable scale, it is likely to get worse. Further, while Hong Kong plays a primary role in connecting trafficked products with their illegal markets, the Administration should and could do more to disrupt the associated criminal activity. Update: In March 2021, “Still Trading in Extinction: The Dark Side of Hong Kong’s Wildlife Trade” was released, which builds on this first report and provides an overview of Hong Kong’s wildlife seizures (2018- 2019) and prosecutions (2017-2020). It presents insights based on data and observations, demonstrating that the trade continues unabated and, for several notable species, has even worsened. Volumes seized in 2018 and 2019 surpassed all annual totals for the preceding decade (excluding 2015). Figures indicate a shift in trade dynamics with ivory in decline, pangolins (a staple of Hong Kong traffickers) remaining at devastatingly high levels and a worrying diversification of other endangered species in trade.