Unfettered growth of TCM poses a serious threat to biodiversity in Africa, all in the name of short-term profit. Any utilisation of threatened species in TCM could stimulate further demand, incentivise wildlife crime and ultimately lead to overexploitation.
The world’s eight pangolin species are experiencing catastrophic levels of poaching and trafficking to feed demand for their scales, meat and other body parts. In 2016, the global community agreed to make the international commercial trade in pangolins and their parts and derivatives illegal.
EIA research reveals that at least twenty-four Chinese pharmaceutical companies have been listing leopard bones as an ingredient in their traditional medicines, although there are fewer than 450 wild leopards left in that country.
The vaquita’s plight as the world’s most endangered cetacean species is not due to direct threats such as hunting. Instead, its plummeting numbers are due to indiscriminate killing in illegal gillnets used to poach critically endangered totoaba fish