Cambridge, UK, 30th October 2014—The October 2014 issue of the TRAFFIC
Bulletin launched today is packed full of fascinating insights into
wildlife trade, including features on the orchid trade in Iran, regional
economic integration organizations, and wildlife trade in Morocco.
The orchid trade in Iran feature describes how between seven and 11
million orchids are estimated to have been illegally harvested during
2013 for their tubers, the ground flour of which is used as an
ingredient in the production of ice cream and a hot, milky drink called
salep. The tubers are collected widely from the wild in Asia Minor, Iran
and the north-eastern Mediterranean region and the trade has been
boosted by international demand, principally from Turkey, which is the
main consumer in the region. The need for active measures to protect
orchid species from over-harvesting is explored, including the
feasibility of establishing sustainable, less destructive harvesting
Another feature looks at the benefits arising from regional economic
integration initiatives, which include increased supply and access to
markets and shared natural resources, but which also present challenges
to their management and regulation, including that of the global trade
in wildlife, particularly of species listed in the Appendices of CITES
(Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
The latest TRAFFIC Bulletin also reports on the flourishing ivory trade
in Luanda, Angola, which has the largest illegal ivory market in
southern Africa, most of it originating in Central Africa, where
elephant numbers are in sharp decline. According to recent surveys, the
ivory, in the form of small carvings and jewellery, is mainly purchased
by Chinese and other East Asian workers based in the country.
Also examined is Malaysia’s trade in Serows Capricornis sumatraensis, an
ungulate species fully protected by domestic legislation, and yet in
decline, principally as a result of hunting for its meat and body parts,
especially heads, which are used in Malay traditional medicine.
Meanwhile, other topics include the findings of surveys of wildlife
markets undertaken in Morocco and Saudi Arabia.