Selling the Endangered
Souvenirs are a great thing. They can hold memories about some of the best places you’ve ever been to. But some souvenirs are also terrible reminders of terrible acts against some of nature’s fairer creatures. Buying souvenirs that are endangered vegetation or made from parts animals close to extinction help promote endangered animal trades that slowly deteriorate the natural world and imbalance the cycle of life
Here is a list of a few products that may be made of or are illegal animal parts and endangered plants. Think twice before putting your money on these products from abroad:
With a vast majority of wildlife in Australia protected, many items and products made from natural materials have to be permitted for you to take home. These include many of the animals only found only in their country as well as items like corals and clam shells. Souvenirs made from the well-known kangaroos are available for purchase but cannot be dealt with in any commercial purposes such as selling, trading or exchanging in any way. Strict penalties await offenders that even include prison sentences.
Products from China that are made of lizard or snake skin (briefcases, handbags, shoes, etc.) may require permits before you can bring them home. This is the same case for some animal related medicines and balms, but a majority of the products may be illegal. These medication may contain parts of bears or tigers which are usually targets of illegal hunters and poachers in the country. Ivory products here may be available for purchase but are discouraged due to the cruel nature of extracting them from animals like elephants.
With the diversity of Indonesia’s wildlife, it may be no surprise that a lot of items here cannot be readily purchased and may be monitored by the government. Items made from the claws, bones or teeth of bears and tigers, turtle shells, ivory and taxidermy like tiny stuffed birds-of-paradise are better off being left in the shelf to discourage the hunting of these poor creatures. You wouldn’t even be able to take them home anyway, as international trade of these creatures and their parts are banned. Much like China as well, skin and lizard items need permits if you want to bring your purchase back home.
Some species of butterfly and tarantulas are protected and require special permits if you really need to bring them home. Unless you’re an entomologist, there would be no specific reason for you to bring these sensitive little guys home. Products made of coral and lizard skins will require special permits for you to bring home, but anything that contains the feathers of the hornbills are totally banned so watch out!
Many people harvest and import wild orchids for profit, but this imbalances the natural cycle of things within the forests. The trapping of migrating birds, caging of monkeys and stuffing of sea turtles for macabre displays are just some of the illegal poaching and hunting activities that buying creature-based products encourage to grow. Mostly trapped to be sold as pets, the handling of these animals are often rough and only about half of the specimens survive along the way of transportation.
Much like the Philippines, Malaysia’s tropical forests house wild orchids that are also being exported illegally. This not only affects the flowers themselves but the creatures and other plants that depend on them as well. The purchasing of crocodile skin products, marine turtle shells along with their meat and ivory carvings helps keep the bloody trade alive.
While it may be tempting to purchase these products, animals and plants are living creatures too and oftentimes taking a creature from its natural habitats can have negative effects on them and the environment they live in. With less purchases made on these type of products these vendors, poachers and hunters may just be discouraged from taking part on these crimes against mother nature’s children.