Endangered species poached in protected areas: WWF; Nina Larson; AFP

Indonesia – Ujung Kulon National Park

Geneva (AFP) – Illegal poaching, logging and fishing of sometimes critically endangered species is taking place in nearly half of the world’s most protected natural sites, environmental campaigners WWF warned Tuesday.

Natural world heritage sites such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Galapagos Islands support large populations of rare plant and animal species.

But in a report WWF said species listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) faced the threat of illegal harvesting and trafficking in 45 percent of the more than 200 natural world heritage sites on the planet.

“Natural world heritage sites are among the most recognised natural sites for their universal value,” said Marco Lambertini, head of WWF International.

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