Severe illegal trade in wildlife in Mexico

02/02/2020

The illegal trade in wildlife in Mexico is a reflection of the enormous need for development in rural areas, said Oscar Espino Contreras, president of the National Association of Orchid Farmers. 

The trade in wildlife in Mexico is a problem. Photo: Pxfuel
The trade in wildlife in Mexico is a problem. Photo: Pxfuel

He said that as long as people in rural areas have no productive options, the only thing they have to subsist on is to turn to nature, make charcoal, extract wood, pull orchids and capture birds.

He said what is needed is an integral strategy where the three orders of government and civil society make a common front and offer productive options to rural areas, which can help inhibit these activities.

With its own income, Orizaba carries out works and development projects

The population contributes its grain of sand by not buying them, because, "in addition to the fact that we are committing a crime, we are making this hobby of growing orchids a risk for the populations in their natural habitat," he said.

He acknowledged that it is complex, but if the population takes responsibility for conserving these orchids in their natural habitat, it helps a lot.

He stressed that the illegal commercialization of orchids is a very serious problem that puts at risk not only the orchids but all biodiversity.

"That's why it's important not to encourage illegal trade in wildlife. If we see orchids being uprooted, sold to us on the streets, we don't buy them; so that people try to direct their economy towards having resources in another way," he said.

He noted that in Mexico there are around 1,200 species of 25,000 types of orchids in the world, 40 percent of which are endemic, that is, they only live in the country. Veracruz has around 370 species and is the third most important, as Chiapas has more than 700 species, followed by Oaxaca.

Finally, the also director of the first Orchid Fair to be held in this city said that Orizaba offers orchid tourism as a new tourist product, with its orchid farm and the fair will promote the cultivation and conservation of orchids in the High Mountains region.

By Mexicanist, Source El Sol de Orizaba