The profits for wildlife traffickers can be as high as 800 percent, based on the animal smuggled and the difficulty in obtaining it.
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the value of the smuggled animal increases between 25 to 50 percent as it moves through the supply chain.
In the 1980s, poachers were getting $5 to $6 a kilo. In the illegal trade in Ivory, poaches earn up to $750 a kilo on the black market.
Over a million plants, live and dead animals, animal parts, and medicines produced from endangered species were seized in the United Kingdom during a 12-month period.
China is the biggest market in the world for tiger bone, leopard cat, rhino horn, and sea horse, and imports up to fifteen tons of ivory each year.
Officials in China has stated that the ban on the internal trade in tiger parts has cost the country $4 billion.
Source: Mark Henderson, “Taste for fins puts shark on danger list,” Times (UK), February 18, 2008.
In the United Kingdom, the Guardian Newspaper has reported that 50 percent of those prosecuted for wildlife crimes have previous convictions for serious offenses such as drugs and guns.
Source: BBC News, “Warning over wildlife souvenirs,” BBC News, August 16, 2007. (accessed: August 16, 2007).
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Nigeria are considered to be key sources of the elephant ivory trade.