JetBlue, U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance Urge Customers To

JetBlue (Nasdaq:JBLU), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance are educating travelers about how to "buy informed" and travel smart to the Caribbean. Thanks to this partnership, JetBlue is now airing a short film on all flights informing customers of the role they play in protecting Caribbean wildlife and preserving the region's beauty. The video, featuring local Caribbean conservation heroes, will arm travelers with the right questions to ask when purchasing wildlife and plant-related products. View the video here.

An increased interest in Caribbean wildlife is fueling trafficking of the area's plants, animals and other natural resources. This is contributing to the decline and potential extinction of animal species such as sea turtles, blue and gold macaws and coral reefs - natural treasures that draw travelers to the Caribbean. In many cases, visitors may unwittingly be contributing to the decline of the very things they want to experience.

The Caribbean's island geography makes it a highly biodiverse region. It is home to approximately 6,500 plant, 150 bird, 470 reptile, 40 mammal, 170 amphibian and 65 fish species not found anywhere else in the world. The global wildlife trafficking crisis threatens many of these species, which are used, often illegally, as pets, medicine, food, jewelry, clothing, souvenirs and household decorations. For example, sea turtles are used for food, jewelry and items such as combs; birds are taken from the wild and sold as pets or their feathers incorporated into souvenirs; unique reptiles are sold as exotic pets and used for clothing; and coral is taken for use in jewelry and décor.

"More than one-third of our travel is to the Caribbean and Latin America. We are dedicated to protecting its beauty and health, which in turn protects tourism and our business," said Sophia Mendelsohn, JetBlue's head of sustainability. "Like many travelers, I was not initially aware of the extent wildlife trafficking has threatened many species and the unique nature of the Caribbean that people fly to absorb."

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