Souvenirs add to decline of endangered species

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Holidaymakers are being urged not to buy souvenirs abroad which will contribute to the decline of endangered species. A charity has now released an online guide to what not to buy on holiday.

ARKive bills itself as an “online Noah’s Ark” which collects and catalogues images, films and audio recordings of the world’s species. It has launched a holiday guide to endangered animals that are commonly offered to tourists.

“When you are abroad, there’s a natural temptation to try or buy items that you can’t find at home,” said ARKive’s director, Richard Edwards, “But the sad fact is that this can often involve the deaths of animals that are already on the brink of extinction. The aim of our new ID guide is to help travellers make more conservation-friendly choices from menus, in shops and when making excursions.”

The guide includes coral jewellery and souvenirs, shark-fin soup, edible sea urchins, and shahtoosh, a shawl made of Tibetan antelope hair. It also advises against paying to watch performing bears or paying for a posed snap with a chained animal such as a monkey.

Source: The Guardian (UK)

For a list of the products to avoid, visit: www.arkive.org/sadsouvenirs

NOTE: earthdive also works alongside TRAFFIC to provide a mechanism to report the sale of any endangered species. As an earthdive member you can complete a science log and add any relevant details to it. earthdive will report the information to TRAFFIC.