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Flora and fauna

General Info
 ·  Flora
    ·  Tropical Forests
    ·  Temperate Forests
    ·  Sub-alpine forests
    ·  Alpine scrubs

 ·  Fauna
    ·  Mammals
    ·  Birds

Why are these animals endangered?

How much money do the poachers make?

Protected Areas
 ·  Nepal
 ·  India

The Himalayas - where earth meets sky
Flora and Fauna

How much money do the poachers make?
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has banned the trafficking in products made from the body parts of rare wildlife. Predictably, the trade has gone underground. Therefore, it is hard to know the price of skin, musk and gall bladders of these animals because they are sold in the black market. According to the National Geographic Magazine, an ounce of the musk may bring about US$ 200 on the international market. One gall bladder of a bear may bring about US$600 in the black market. To put this in perspective, 600 US dollars is about four times the per capita income of a person in Nepal.

Panthera Tigris. Credit: Karamjeet Singh
Panthera Tigris
Credit: Karamjeet Singh

However, the irony is that the compounds that are found in a rhino's horn, a bear's gall bladder and musk deer's musk can be synthesized in laboratories for a cheaper price and in a more pure form. There is no need to kill these beautiful animals.

According to Image Nepal (Vol. 13, No. 8, Dec. 1994), a fur coat made of 12 jungle cats costs US$ 500, the skin of an endangered clouded leopard US$600, a tiger skin rug with its stuffed head US$10,000 in the underground market of Nepal. The bones of a tiger can fetch up to US$ 5,000 in pharmacies in Hongkong or Taiwan.

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