Mementos what not to buy
Wherever you decide to spend your holiday, you’re sure to want a souvenir of your trip. However, holidaymakers are being urged by the ARKive charity not to buy souvenirs abroad that contribute to the decline of endangered species. ARKive, which bills itself as an ‘online Noah’s Ark’, has launched a guide to the products made from endangered animals, which are commonly offered to tourists.
“When you are abroad, there’s a natural temptation to try to buy items that you can’t find at home,” said the charity’s director, Richard Edwards. “The sad fact is that this can often involve the deaths of animals that are already on the brink of extinction. The aim of our new guide is to help travellers make more conservation friendly choices.”
The guide www.arkive.org/sadsouvenirs mentions all the souvenirs, meals and excursions that should be avoided when on holiday to protect endangered animals. The list includes: coral jewellery and souvenirs, shark-fin soup, edible sea urchins and shahtoosh – a shawl made of Tibetan antelope hair. It also advises against paying to watch performing bears or for a posed snap with a chained animal, such as a monkey.
Crocodile and snakeskin products: Contribute to decline of species.
Coral jewellery: Over-harvesting adds to decline of reefs.
Turtle soup: Often made from endangered or critically endangered species. Also avoid tortoiseshell.
Dancing bears: Paying to watch them encourages killing of sloth bear females and taking their cubs.
Shahtoosh: Five Tibetan antelope must die for a single shawl.