HÀ NỘI — A major driver of the illegal wildlife trade in the Golden Triangle – the border area where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar – is tourists from Việt Nam and China.
This was one of the conclusions of a report released on Thursday by the World Wildlife Fund to highlight ten of the Most Widely Traded Endangered Species in the markets of the Golden Triangle.
The tourists are believed to travel to areas such as MongLa and Tachilek in Myanmar, and border areas such as Boten and the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone in Laos.
The report said tigers, elephants, bears and pangolin are four of the most widely traded species in the Golden Triangle. Rhinos, serow, helmeted hornbill, gaur, leopards and turtles round out the list of endangered species that are openly sold in a region that is Ground Zero in the illegal wildlife trade.
The list is based on surveys by WWF of illegal wildlife markets, shops and restaurants, and reports from TRAFFIC and the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network. The listed species are those most often seen for sale in a criminal trade that threatens wildlife across Asia and into Africa.
The report also pointed out African rhinos are being poached at the rate of three per day to feed the demand for their horns in places such as Việt Nam, where the horns are mostly consumed as a symbol of wealth, as well as for traditional medicine.
Another species covered in keratin is the pangolin, which is in high demand in China and Việt Nam for its scales and is considered the most trafficked animal in the world. — VNS