WildAid and Josh Duhamel Urge U.S. Travelers Not to Buy Endangered Wildlife Products
San Francisco – Hollywood actor Josh Duhamel is starring in a new WildAid awareness campaign releasing tomorrow on World Sea Turtle Day.
In a series of print, radio and television public service announcements, Duhamel alerts travelers to the impacts of buying souvenirs made from imperiled wildlife species.
“Many of the world’s most magnificent animals are being pushed to extinction by the illegal trade in products made from their body parts,” Duhamel says in a TV spot while holding a tortoiseshell bracelet made from a sea turtle shell. “If you travel abroad, you may be offered one of these products. They may look nothing like the animal itself, but don’t be fooled.”
Trade in illicit products made from wildlife threatens many species worldwide. Whether ivory carvings and trinkets, coral jewelry or tortoiseshell accessories, travelers buying these products often unknowingly contribute to the illegal killing of animals.
Although the U.S. is a chief consumer market for illicit wildlife products, a WildAid survey found that four out of five Americans know little or nothing about the illegal trade in this country.
“We are excited to launch our campaign with Josh Duhamel on World Sea Turtle Day to raise awareness for these and other threatened animals that are loved by so many Americans,” said WildAid CEO Peter Knights. “Despite protections for sea turtles, products made from their shells are prevalent on the black market. Greater awareness can help protect them and many more endangered species from wildlife trafficking.”
The campaign, a joint effort of WildAid, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, will appear on broadcast television stations nationwide, as well as in major international transit hubs like airports and cruise ship terminals in collaboration with the travel and tourism industries.
“Our message is that the consumer choices we make, both at home and during travels abroad, have impacts on the survival of endangered and threatened wildlife,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Chief of Law Enforcement William C. Woody. “We are urging Americans to be good stewards of our planet in order to protect imperiled species both great and small.”
To learn more, visit www.stopwildlifetrafficking.org or search #StopWildlifeTrafficking.
WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as shark fin and elephant ivory by persuading consumers and providing comprehensive marine enforcement. Recent WildAid campaigns such as the #JoinTheHerd initiative have brought together millions of people to speak out about the poaching crisis affecting African elephants. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors – including Prince William and Yao Ming – and global network of media partners, WildAid leverages $289 million in annual pro bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too. For more information, visit WildAid.org and follow us @WildAid.
About U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit fws.gov.
About U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance
The United States Wildlife Trafficking Alliance is a coalition of nonprofit organizations, companies, foundations and media interests working closely with the U.S. government to combat wildlife trafficking by raising public awareness, reducing consumer demand for wildlife and wildlife products, and mobilizing companies to adopt best practices stop wildlife trafficking.