Illegal Wildlife Trade in Pakistan – Threat to Endangered Species

illegal wildlife trade is causing economic losses in Pakistan



This term is defined as the trade of products that are derived from wildlife that includes body parts of animals such as meat, bones, skins, etc. Living and dead animals are also traded internationally. The traded wild plant species are then grown in a controlled environment.


Illegal wildlife trade is defined as unlawful commerce of living wildlife or products derived from wildlife. It is called illegal wildlife trade because it’s against laws, nature and includes billion-dollar business.

Check out: 12 Vulnerable and Endangered Animal Species of Pakistan and Endangered and Critically Endangered Animals of Pakistan.


Illegal wildlife trade is taking place in a number of ways that are listed below.

1. Online: In the current era, everything legal or illegal takes place using digital devices and online websites.

2. Poaching: Poaching is carried out by poachers who hunt, kill or capture wildlife for monetary purposes.

3. Hunting: Hunting is also included in the illegal wildlife trade in which specific species of animals are hunt for sports or illegal trade.

4. Dark Web: It is a network of internet websites that are engaged in illegal activities such as smuggling, and trafficking of wildlife. This network can only be accessed with specialized internet tools.

For more info, read: Hunting and Poaching of Wildlife – Causes, Effects, and Solutions


News has reported about escalated illegal wildlife trade in Pakistan. The whole world was facing a lockdown situation during the pandemic yet poachers involved in illegal activities managed to keep up their business. The widespread illegal wildlife trade in Pakistan has remained unchecked for years.

Punjab province of Pakistan is reportedly ranked number one among other provinces where illegal wildlife trade takes place through internet websites.

Also read: Conservation of Biodiversity – Importance and Methods


The causes of wildlife trade in Pakistan are listed below.

1. Absence of Supervision: The absence of supervision and regulation in Pakistan is the biggest cause of wildlife trade in Pakistan.

2. Monetary Purposes: The wildlife species have huge monetary value due to unique properties, benefits, body parts, etc.

3. Rare Species As Pets: Some elites are fond of keeping wildlife as their pet. The rare species are illegally traded to other countries.

4. Unregistered Number of Species: Another main reason for wildlife trade in Pakistan is an unregistered number of plants and animal species.

Read: Measurement of Species Biodiversity – Methods and Techniques


The effects of the wildlife trade in Pakistan are mentioned below.

1. Disturbance in Ecosystem: The illegal wildlife trade causes disturbance in the ecosystem. The animals and plants are introduced into new habitats.

2. Threats to Endangered Species: The illegal activities associated with the wildlife trade threaten endangered species.

3. Impact on Tourism Industry: The loss of biodiversity due to illegal wildlife trade could show the negative impacts on the tourism industry.

4. Habitat Loss: The unlawful trade of animals results in habitat loss. The poached animals are forced to live in captivity.

You might also like to read: Biodiversity Loss – Causes, Effects, and Solutions


1. Afforestation Initiatives: The Government of Pakistan has initiated several clean green projects that would protect species by restoring wildlife habitats.

2. Protected Areas: The biodiversity in Pakistan is being conserved through protected areas. Kirthar Park is an example.

3. Manmade Forests: The manmade forest in Pakistan such as Changa Manga is also a wildlife conservation effort.

4. Marine Protected Areas: Other conservation efforts include marine protected areas to conserve marine diversity. Astola Island is an example.

5. National Parks: The government has initiated protected area management projects that help in restoring habitats for wildlife. For more info about Pakistan’s national parks, check out: National Parks in Pakistan – Fauna, Flora and Importance.


The solutions to wildlife trade in Pakistan are described below.

1. Ban Illegal Wildlife Trade: The Government should put a ban on illegal wildlife trade and restrict sports activities that threaten endangered species.

2. Immediate Implementation of Laws: The government of Pakistan should make the enactment of laws possible in Pakistan and supervise borders for illegal trade.

3. Strict Penalties to Culprits: Those who found guilty by violating laws regarding illegal wildlife trade will face strict penalties

4. Actions to Protect Endangered Species: Other solutions to stop illegal wildlife trade are cooperating with local people for wildlife protection, restricting products made of animals, and maintaining the population of endangered species (livestock production).

You might also wish to check out: Biodiversity Management Methods, Techniques And Importance


Pakistan hosts a huge variety of wildlife. There are unique endemic animals present in Pakistan. Some species such as pangolin is listed endangered because of the illegal wildlife trade. Human activities have led to the extinction of species. The country is in dire need of strict regulations to protect wildlife. Otherwise, there would be massive economic losses due to illegal wildlife.

Also check out: Biodiversity Conservation is Ecosystem Restoration-Pictures

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