Day by day, hour by hour, our planet’s rarest creatures are being hunted, trapped and slaughtered to feed a global black market worth US$20 billion a year.
A poacher who kills a rhino and removes its horn in northeast India earns around US$350. By the time it is smuggled to China for use in traditional medicine, it could be worth $60,000. The mark up is higher than illegal drugs or weapons.
In 2001, I began writing an investigative book on the illegal wildlife trade and its gruesome pursuit of profits. Over the next four years, I travelled to more than 10 countries interviewing poachers, traffickers and border police and frequently going under cover to document the trade in tigers, elephants and bears. Black Market: Inside the Endangered Species Trade in Asia was published by Palace Press in 2005 (www.amazon.com). It was the first book of its kind to show the devastating scale of the illegal animal trade and was voted one of the most important books on the subject by CNN.
Ten years later, I wrote the introduction for Trading to Extinction, a black and white photographic book by Patrick Brown (www.amazon.com).
I continue to write on the wildlife trade as well as biodiversity, climate change and the impact of human activity on our fragile environment. I personally believe that it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to urgently address these issues to ensure the survival of our planet for future generations. Time is running out.
“Black Market is beautifully written in elegant prose imbued with a sense of urgency and drama… On behalf of the animals thank you for bringing their plight so poignantly and clearly into the open.” (Jane Goodall).
“This at once eye-opening and deeply disturbing book is an urgent call to action.” (Publishers Weekly).