(UNITED STATES / WILDAID) Hollywood actor Josh Duhamel is starring in a new WildAid awareness campaign releasing 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 large 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.