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Even though this is not about an African species, I do think it's at it's place in the Africa forum. One example pro-rhino traders often use is the one of the recovery of the vicuna because of the allowance in the trade of it's wool. But things might be backfiring for the vicuna, and there are some problems which are brushed aside by pro rhino traders in their argumentation, or even assumed to be completely opposite. News item from mongabay Here are a few things which caught my eye: Pro rhino traders often brush this aside, they claim opening legal trade will reduce illegal trade greatly. Mind you, vicunas were rare because of poaching, but opening legal trade apparently increased the options of poachers to market their illegal commodity. This seems to be the crux of that, it's probably not too hard to document legal rhino properly if it's still in the shape of a horn, but once it's ground down to powder, legal and illegal horn is easily mixed and hard to trace. I recently attended a talk by a South African professor who was pro rhino horn trade. He claimed that the price of legal rhino horn would be lower than illegal rhino. He didn't make clear in his talk why this would be. I asked him and he gave me an answer which was not an answer to my question, so I asked him again, and again he evaded my question. He couldn't make clear why this would be. The article about the vicuna show the opposite, illegal vicuna wool is half the price of legal wool! And at a price of $250 for 1 kg, a big incentive for poachers! You can imagine the incentive if the price is >$25,000 a kg!
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