Spain is the gateway for the illegal trafficking of species to Europe, a millionaire business that moves between 8 and 20 million euros a year and puts biodiversity at risk.
Attack on biodiversity
Between 2006 and 2016, some 4.5 million specimens protected by the CITES international Convention against trafficking in protected species were imported into Spain, and it is also the main destination country for reptile skins in the world or one of the main channels of distribution of live reptiles and birds, such as raptors and parrots.
"The business of extinction in Spain", carried out by the WWF organization, highlights that of the almost 9,000 objects belonging to hunting "trophies" 1,095 corresponding to African elephants were seized. Reptiles are trafficked, with 2.5 million units between 2006 and 2015, followed by plants, with 1.7 million, and mammals, with about 92,000 specimens, which has observed that 2.3 million of these specimens were alive.
The sixth extinction
The planet faces a "sixth extinction", in which "the meteorite is ourselves"; the rate of destruction of global biodiversity is between one hundred and one thousand times higher than would be natural, according to the Secretary General of WWF Spain, Juan Carlos del Olmo.
Spain occupies a "decisive" place in this world traffic as a gateway for many animals from Africa and Latin America, which is why it has asked the new Government to address this problem as a "priority".
WWF has denounced that, despite the significant trafficking of species registered in Spain, the country lacks a reference rescue center for seized animals, and has raised twelve requests to help deal with this business in Spain.
Its proposals include a greater endowment of human and budgetary resources for the Spanish Action Plan Against Illegal Trafficking and International Poaching of Wild Species, an increase in research work on criminal networks and the improvement of rescue centers.