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World Wildlife Fund


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Civics

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

Global, South and Central America, Africa, Asia



Second-biggest Direct Threat to Species After Habitat Destruction

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  • This detailed article introduces students to the concept of wildlife trading, which occurs whenever people sell or trade living wild animals, wild animal products or body parts, or wild plants. 
  • Students will learn about why people trade wildlife, the scale of the problem, why wildlife trading is a problem, and many examples of wildlife trading around the world.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource features a wealth of information about many aspects of the wildlife trading problem. 
  • There is an infographic and links to the IUCN and CITES websites for further research.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should feel comfortable reading about animal cruelty.
  • The link for the first video does not work. 


  • This resource would work equally well in science or social studies classes, as it connects to ecosystems and species extinctions as well as human behaviors and the environmental effects of consuming certain products.
  • Connect this article to climate change through nature's importance as a climate solution and biodiversity's importance for ecosystems to function properly.
  • Try using this resource to have students debate the different solutions posed and decide which one is the most feasible and effective. 
  • As an extension, have students create posters or infographics that promote awareness of the problems posed by wildlife trading.
Scientist Notes
The resource from the World Wildlife Fund presents the effects of the wildlife trade, the second biggest threat to species after habitat destruction. The website provides a brief overview of the wildlife trade, why it occurs, and why it's a problem. Links are provided for additional information about invasive species, additionally a fact sheet about wildlife trade and a report on the role of the European Union in the global wildlife trade is provided. This resource would be a great addition to a classroom discussion about additional threats to wildlife, outside of climate change and habitat destruction.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.TS.9–10.4 Analyze in detail the author’s choices concerning the structure of ideas or claims of a text, and how they are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).
      • RI.CR.11–12.1 Accurately cite a range of thorough textual evidence and make relevant connections to strongly support a comprehensive analysis of multiple aspects of what an informational text says explicitly and inferentially, as well as interpretations of the text.
      • RI.PP.11–12.5 Analyze an author’s purpose in a text distinguishing what is directly stated in a text or through rhetoric, analyzing how style and content convey information and advance a point of view.
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