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Help save the creatures we love from extinction. Donate online to CI today and help us halt the illegal wildlife trade.

© CI, Peter Paul Van Dijk

Think twice about that overpriced snakeskin wallet and your neighbor’s pet cockatoo. Increasing demand for plants and animals for food, clothing, pets, souvenirs, and medicine is causing localized extinctions and emptying ecosystems worldwide. In a new effort to safeguard threatened species and halt the illegal wildlife trade, The Far Side® cartoonist Gary Larson is supporting Conservation International (CI) to engage audiences, raise awareness, and help strengthen wildlife trade laws and their enforcement.

Win one of Gary Larson's personal artist's proofs of the deluxe limited edition of The Complete Far Side. This signed and numbered 2-volume leather-bound book set contains every Far Side cartoon ever syndicated, and includes a signed lithograph of Larson's well-known cartoon, "Wendell...I'm Not Content." Lithograph frame not included.

Enter to win beginning Jan. 8, 2007!

Driven by consumer giants like the United States and China, today’s annual wildlife trade is a multibillion-dollar enterprise – much of it illegal. Poaching of threatened terrestrial and marine species is particularly acute in Southeast Asia, where human population has grown by more than 300 percent in the last 50 years and individual purchasing power is increasing at an unprecedented rate.

Unregulated hunting and trading in biodiversity-rich countries, such as Cambodia and Myanmar, now joins habitat loss and climate change as primary causes of species decline. At greatest risk are species that are slow to reproduce, such as elephants and sharks, animals with restricted ranges like many primates and turtles, and those that are of particularly high trade value, including rhinoceroses and Asian big cats.

Beyond extinctions and biodiversity loss, recent epidemics caused by wildlife-to-human contact – such as avian influenza (bird flu), Ebola hemorrhagic fever, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) – underscore the public health implications of unregulated trade.

CI is partnering with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and local communities throughout East and Southeast Asia to address the factors allowing illegal trade of threatened species to continue. Together, we are:

  • training forest guards and law enforcement officials to apprehend and convict poachers;
  • raising awareness of prosecutors and judges to increase convictions of wildlife criminals;
  • instructing airline workers on how to identify and report suspicious cargo;
  • conducting public awareness campaigns with the Beijing Olympic Committee and other partners in China to reduce the demand for, and consumption of, threatened wildlife; and
  • exploring viable and sustainable wildlife harvesting alternatives with local communities.
CI Wide
CI: A Note From Gary Larson
Photo Gallery: Images of the Illegal Wildlife Trade
Frontlines: CI Campaign to Halt the Sale, Production of Bushmeat
Frontlines: Strictly Prohibited, Sea Turtle Hunting and Trade Persist
Frontlines: Ravaging the Reefs: The Asian Live Fish Trade

On The Web
Bushmeat Crisis Task Force
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Save the Tiger Fund
World Conservation Society (WCS): Hunting and Wildlife Trade
World Wildlife Fund (WWF): Wildlife Trade

The Far Side® images © 1983, 1984, 2003, 2006 FarWorks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Far Side® and the Larson® signature are registered trademarks of FarWorks, Inc.

Join CI Online

Gary Larson is serious about CI's efforts to halt the illegal wildlife trade. Click here to read a note from the author to his fans.

Demand for plants and animals is causing localized extinctions and emptying ecosystems worldwide. Click here to view a photo gallery of animals that are affected by the trade.

June 21, 2006: Tricks of the Trade: CI Campaign Held As Model to Halt the Sale, Production of Bushmeat (CI)

Aug. 14, 2006: Orangutan population plunges 43% in Indonesia (Mongabay.com)

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Photo credits for banner images: (Greater Flamingos © Tui De Roy/Minden Pictures); (Diagonal-banded Sweetlips © Fred Bavendam/Minden Pictures);
(Madagascar Aloe © Frans Lanting/Minden Pictures); (Hippo © Frans Lanting/Minden Pictures); (Hummingbird © Pete Oxford); (Malagasy Frog © Piotr Naskrecki/CI)