Rare Birds, Animals Under Threat From Amulet Craze, Campaigners Warn.
Craze for helmeted hornbill heads as amulets and decorations is posing a serious to the birds’ small population in Thailand’s forests, conservation activists said Monday.
The campaigners spoke at an event where they announced a new campaign to raise awareness over the dwindling number of rare animals in the wild. They were joined by celebrities and government officials who urged Thais to eliminate the use of animal parts, such as hornbill heads, tiger teeth, and ivory.
While ivory and tiger teeth have long been targeted by poachers, a recent fad for helmeted hornbill in the black market is particularly worrying because there are only about 200 hornbills left in Thailand, according to an activist from environment group Traffic.
250,000 people in Thailand own artifacts made from tigers. More and more people think it’s cool to have some too – but campaigners warn about it.
Luckily, a revised version of the Wildlife Protection Act in Thailand will come into effect in late November. People who get busted after it can get up to 10 years in jail and/or get a fine up to 1 million baht (around 32,000 US dollars).