Endangered Species Valuable Species

July 27, 2012 - 3:37 PM
FILE In this Dec. 29, 2011 photo, a sixteen day old baby elephant enjoys sun at an elephant breeding centre in Sauraha in Chitwan, about 170 kilometers (106 miles) south of Katmandu, Nepal. The 175-nation U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, known as CITES, is based in Geneva and regulates nearly 35,000 species of animals and plants. Experts rank wildlife smuggling among the top aims of criminal networks, along with drugs and human trafficking. CITES says wildlife crime remains poorly studied but it says international estimates of the scale of illegal wildlife trade range from between $16 billion and $27 billion a year. Tiger parts, elephant ivory, rhino horn and exotic birds and reptiles are among the most trafficked items. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)