-Wiki Commons: Dario Sanches
Today I wanted to do a post on a Ted Talk, and I found this short presentation by Juliana Machado Ferreira on animal trafficking in Brazil. It is estimated that 38 million animals are smuggled from Brazil every year, to make an almost 2 billion dollar operation. I thought the most interesting part about this presentation was that she went into the details about what happens after illegally smuggled animals are seized. Not many people hear about what happens to the seized animals. I assumed they were immediately released and injured animals went to a rehab center. It was shocking to find out that a lot of animals go to government facilities for a while where the animals are treated just as bad as the traffickers in some cases. There is not adequate space or funds to maintain better facilities for them. This is already bad, but knowing that they confiscate only about 5% of all the trafficked animals, it is disturbing to think of what would happen if they confiscated even more. It is obvious that better facilities are required, but that also comes back to funding.
However, Juliana also showed there are some rehab facilities that can offer proper care. But, apparently, even these facilities have a difficult time releasing the animals back into the wild because there are no real criteria for what constitutes a responsible release. So, due to financial constraints and lack of knowledge, it was proposed that all the non-threatened animals would just be euthanized. Juliana implemented a set of release criteria that offers a much better alternative and has shown great success with follow-ups in the wild. Since knowledge of certain species in the wild is an important aspect in conducting a proper release, it is vital that scientists continue field studies. If adequate information is obtained, perhaps many animals could be released straight back into the wild and bypass government facilities altogether.
Toucan. Wiki Commons: SqueakyMarmot