Illegal catching refers to all illegal forms of deliberate capture of protected species with the intention of temporarily, or permanently keeping the captured specimens in captivity. This activity may lead to an immediate, direct (quantitative) decline in a population, or could have other more indirect (qualitative) negative effects.
The animals are caught, for example, for selling as pets or meat (fish). Many wild animals are kept captive in private homes as pets including nationally or internationally protected species, such as lions, tigers, servals, wolves, bears, alligators, snakes, venomous spiders and primates like chimpanzees.
Deliberate capture of protected species can be legal if it is subject to an exception from law provisions endorsed by authorities and with special permits for precise purposes such as research and relocation, among other things.