A soaring illicit smuggling market is driving many species of falcon towards extinction. It is here prized birds are sell for a million dollars each! Located mainly in the Middle East and Central Asia, this black market of the birds of prey can make profits bigger than what drugs or weapons can do! This may eventually lead to the birds’ extinction, as the U.S.-based Union for the Conservation of Raptors (UCR) said.
Ranging from eagles to hawks, smuggling of raptors increased with 14,000 birds in 2001, as estimated by UCR chief Alan Howell Parrot. He said,
Imagine having something weighing 2 lb (1 kg) on your hand that can sell for a million dollars… You enter with 20 birds and leave with 20 — but they’re not the same birds… The starting price is $20,000 and they can go for more than $1 million… Perhaps 90-95 percent of the trade is illicit.