Video - Films
Wildlife Trade and PoachingSee also Mammals section for films on elephants and the ivory trade, and whaling.
Note: The title is followed by the length, producer, distributor (if different from producer), and year film was made. Unless otherwise noted, the videos listed below are VHS format. Many are available in Beta, 16mm and other formats. Some are on laser disks.
+ Indicates video sold or rented with teacher’s instruction guide.
+ “Ancient Sea Turtles Stranded in a Modern World.” 28 minutes. Study Guide. Steven Cowan for the Sea Turtle Restoration Project of Earth Island Institute. Bullfrog Films. 1999. Grades 7-12/College/Adult.
In spite of having lived on Earth for 100 million years, sea turtles have no guarantee of continued survival. All species are endangered by a variety of causes. This film chronicles the many threats to sea turtles, especially drowning in shrimp nets, with remedial programs such as Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) placed on shrimp nets to allow them to leave the net.
"Bird Traffic." 30 minutes. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Films for the Humanities and Sciences. 1992.
This film opens with the night capture of a beautiful cockatoo caught at its roost by a foot noose. It hangs upside‑down screaming and struggling, setting the tone for this fast‑moving view of the Asian cage bird trade. Lumber companies, clearing the tropical forests of Seram in Indonesia, also employ locals to illegally capture the extremely rare and protected Salmon‑crested Cockatoo for a few dollars. These birds, along with other colorful parrots and lories, are shipped to an export city in the Moluccan Islands then, by night, to Singapore where they are sent to the Bangkok bird market. This market is toured, and birds are seen in extremely inhumane conditions, some lying dead in filthy cages. A Netherlands Refuge center for reject birds, which provides homes to abused and neurotic ex-pet parrots and other birds, is visited. Some birds had bitten off their own toes, a reaction of many wild birds to being caged. Most had plucked out their own feathers. The major point of the film is that the purchase of wild birds for pets and collectors is inhumane to the birds and contributes to this cruel trade.
"The Rangers of Nepal." 30 minutes. Yorkshire Television, UK. 1993.
The Great Indian Rhinoceros, Tiger and other endangered species are under constant threat from poachers in Nepal, who kill these animals to sell their body parts for the Traditional Medicine trade. Game rangers risk their lives to protect these species. The importance placed on preserving wildlife in countries with poor economies is an inspiring story.
“Sea of Slaughter.” 96 minutes. Four parts for classrooms. John Brett for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Bullfrog Films. 1990. Grades 10-12/College/Adult.
Focusing on Farley Mowat’s history of the decimation of wildlife along the North Atlantic coasts, this film documents the incredible wealth of wildlife that greeted the colonists along North America’s northeastern coasts in the early 17th century. They proceeded to slaughter the wildlife for market sales, and soon Walrus, whales, seals, seabirds and other species neared extinction.
“Wildlife for Sale. Dead or Alive.” 47 minutes. Two parts for classrooms. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Nature of Things. Bullfrog Films. 1998. Grades 9-12/College/Adult.
This film documents the multi-billion dollar trade--legal and illegal--in wildlife, which endangers thousands of species worldwide. It explains the problem of insufficient enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the role that attitudes towards animals has in the way we treat them.