Rosewood, which grows in the rainforests of Madagascar, has surpassed ivory in terms of illegally harvested and traded plant/animal products worldwide and their black-market value.
Sadly, much of Madagascar’s remaining rosewood is in protected areas, such as national parks and reserves, and illegal logging destroys not just the rosewood trees but also the other trees surrounding them. The presence of loggers within the protected forests can also lead to the hunting/killing of lemurs, to feed the workers there to harvest the wood, and as “bushmeat” to be sold in towns. (See “Lemur on the menu: most-endangered primates still served in Madagascar.”)
Read more in a recent Dan Ashby/Lucy Taylor article from the SAVA about the illegal rosewood trade, including the Malagasy government’s proposed solution (presented to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES) of selling existing confiscated stocks: https://news.mongabay.com/2017/11/madagascar-petitions-cites-to-sell-millions-in-stolen-rosewood. Be sure to catch the video piece towards the end of the article.
What can you do? When purchasing wood – or furniture or musical instruments made from woods like ebony, rosewood, and other rare species – ALWAYS confirm that the wood was sourced from LEGAL logging. Illegal logging drives deforestation in countries around the world, not just Madagascar; and up to 10% of the global wood supply is sourced illegally. Learn more HERE.