Figure 8: Major smuggling routes to and from Nepal (UNEP, 2010b).
ed over one million to less than 75,000 (Schaller, 1998; Bol- ger et al., 2008), then increased to ca. 75,000–100,000 due to heavy anti-poaching by Chinese authorities and an impressive establishment of many extensive reserves. Poachers smuggled much of the wool either to other parts of Central Asia or in more recent years also directly to Nepal and onwards to buyers in the rest of Asia, fetching anything from US$1,000–10,000 for a Shahtoosh shawl, typically around US$2,000–5,000. The antelopes have to be killed for the wool. However, poaching continues (Bleisch et al., 2009).
Extreme declines have been observed due to overexploitation in mountain, as well as steppe- and desert ungulates across Central Asia, China and the Russian Federation (Lhagvasuren and Milner-Gulland, 1997; Wang et al., 1997; Milner-Gulland et al., 2001; Milner-Gulland et al., 2003; Bolger et al., 2008).
The geographic distribution of the Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa) in Inner Mongolia, China declined by 75 per cent as a result of overhunting, and the population declined from around two million in the 1950s to approximately 1 million to- day (Bolger et al., 2008; IUCN, 2011), though some uncertainty and disagreement exist on estimates. Rhinos, elephants, and tigers are also subject to heavy poaching in Asia, fetching as much US$75,000 for one 1–2 kg rhino horn on the black mar- ket (UNEP, 2010b). Major smuggling routes go to China, Tai- wan, and Korea, but also Japan. Nepal was an important transit route during the civil war, where many rhinos were killed, e.g., Bardia National Park (UNEP, 2010b).
A consortium has been established between INTERPOL, the World Bank, CITES (Convention on International Trade in En- dangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), WCO (World Cus- toms Organization), and UNODC (UN Office on Drugs and Crime) to help further combat wildlife crime. However, few re- sources have been made available and it is imperative that sub- stantial funding is procured in order to address the extent and organized nature of illegal trade and poaching on wildlife. CMS and CITES closely collaborate on migratory species conserva- tion, such as the Saiga antelope and elephants, whose products are internationally traded.