For my second feature for Mongabay I took a look at the insidious network of trafficking in wildlife--the living and the dead--that is plundering the world's richest rainforest of its wonderful wildlife. In writing this piece I learned two surprising things: first, that the market for live animals for the "pet" trade isn't just about exporting macaws overseas, but that Latin American cultures are very much mired in an ingrained fixation on the display of captive native wildlife for social appeal. Second, that one of the biggest markets for wildlife and their organs, skins, bones and lives is right here in the US, which next to China is the largest market in the world for endangered species.
William H. Funk
I'm a freelance writer focusing on natural history, conservation, and environmental law, policy and politics.