Despite Prediction, Viagra Hasn’t Stemmed Trade in Threatened Wildlife

When the male potency drug Viagra came on the market in 1998, conservationists and animal protection groups were hopeful it would produce an unintended side effect: an end to world demand for animal parts–often from endangered species –used as aphrodisiacs.

In the case of harp seals, which are not endangered, anecdotal evidence has suggested that Viagra may have helped to shrink trade in seal genitals used in traditional medicines to enhance male virility. But conservationists and others caution against overstating the significance of such evidence, saying the link is tenuous.