This morning House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) joined the National Geographic’s forum entitled “Wildlife and Wild Places” to discuss the global crisis of wildlife trafficking.

Some of our world’s most iconic wildlife is being killed on such a large scale that extinction is very real.  In fact, according to TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, since ’95 the population of the world’s largest ape plummeted by 75 percent, 2016 was the worst year for the rhino since 2007 and approximately 20,000 elephants are poached each year.

That is why Chairman Royce authored the END Wildlife Trafficking Act (H.R. 2494).  The bipartisan legislation, which was signed into law last year, helps the United States and partner countries combat today’s unprecedented level of poaching and wildlife trafficking.

“It’s very clear that there is a nexus between criminal networks, and even some terrorist groups, that are profiting off of the slaughter of elephants and rhinos for the ivory trade,” said Chairman Royce.  “And you have park rangers doing their job – or trying to – up against criminal networks that now use helicopters, night-vision goggles, and automatic weapons.”

Learn more about Chairman Royce’s efforts to end wildlife trafficking HERE.