How anonymity on the internet aids illegal animal trade

The researchers created a separate category for ivory because sometimes they could not identify the species from the teeth or tusks.

The most popular reptiles were turtles and tortoises‚ while parrots and owls were wanted birds.

McCrea-Steele said wildlife traffickers exploited their anonymity on the internet to trade without borders for 24 hours a day.

“Many online marketplaces and social media platforms are working hard to stop this‚ but we all have a part to play. If we don’t buy‚ they don’t die.”

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) is an international agreement between governments which governs the commercial trade in endangered and threatened wildlife.

The report said it was worried about the so-called dark web‚ a clandestine version of the internet where anything is available for sale. 

“Concerns have been expressed that wildlife traffickers may also be turning to the dark net as a result of enforcement efforts targeting open source sites… Criminal behaviour will always adapt to explore new opportunities to trade illegal goods.”

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