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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking its show on the road.

In an eduational move, the serivce’s director, Dan Ashe, appeared on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow Monday, April 15, to talk horns. The service’s wildlife-cop role has been heavily involved in cracking down on illicit rhino horn trafficking, and Ashe talked about how the subject pops up in the antiques trade with the show’s host Mark Walberg and appraiser Lark Mason (no, I didn’t catch the episode, but I’ll look it up through internet reruns).

“We want to get the message out about protections for wildlife,” Ashe said in a prepared statement. “People don’t always think about this issue in terms of the antiques and collectibles that they own, buy, or sell. Anything that creates a demand for products made from endangered species can be bad news for survival of the animal in the wild, and that’s exactly what’s happening to rhinos.”

According to the Fish and Wildlife Service:

The Service-Antiques Roadshow partnership began after appraiser Lark Mason evaluated five rhino horn libation cups for a 2012 episode. While the value estimated topped all previous records for the series, the appraiser advised the owner that rhinos are a protected species and there are laws that affect the buying and selling of rhino parts and products.

Ashe’s segment was taped in July at the Cincinnati Zoo when Fish and Wildlife officials provided training to Antiques Roadshow appraisers, covering collectibles made of elephant ivory, rhino horn and sea turtle shell. Similar training will be offered this summer when the program takes its show to Baton Rouge, La. (to be aired in 2014, for those who plan their TV viewing schedule a year in advance).

Rhino horn is coveted in Asia for its alleged medicinal properties, and poaching is on the rise in Africa. South African authorities reported that some 668 rhinos were killed in that country in 2012.

For more information about some of the most commonly traded plant and animal species:

http://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/factsheet-can-i-sell-it.pdf

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/tg/ivory.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/fts/chattanooga_200804A10.html

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