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BROCHURE RACK

IUCN quotas

04/05/2012 09:24:00
safaris/mara_cheetah_drink_pg

The CITES 2011 for cheetah allowed for the trade of 205 animals - Dead or alive

Save wildlife and improve the UK balance of trade
May 2012. There is much ado about the illegal wildlife trade, but there is also a huge amount of legal trade in wildlife products, some very rare indeed, that is permitted by CITES. Elephant tusks, rhino horn, chameleons, leopard tortoises, and cheetah, lion, & leopard hunting trophies all had CITES export quotas the 2011.

Pythons & gall bladders
One of the striking facts revealed by the 2011 quota is the vast trade in Pythons from around the world, but mostly from West Africa & Indonesia. The 2011 quota for pythons was more than 400,000! Now it isn't always possible to tell exactly what that number means, but it includes live animals and skins, and, most worryingly, gall bladders. Why does CITES permit trade in python (or any other) gall bladders when the only demand for them is from sad misguided people who believe that it has curative properties for many ailments.

Aside from gall bladders, the annual quota for 2011 of 400,000 items seems totally unsustainable - And when you look closer at the figures more than half of this total is for exports from Indonesia - who have a quota for 212,000 pythons or python skins (and an extraordinary 135,000 spitting cobras too!).

To acces sthe CITES database, please click here

UK Wildlife trade
According to CITES, from 2006 - 2010, some 3.5 million items that required CITES licences were imported into the UK. The most numerous were corals, but there are many, many surprises on the list. Here are a few that we question why on earth there are any permits allowed at all.

  • Crested or Eyelash gecko 
In 2010 nearly 3000 of the small geckos were imported into the UK - According to IUCN "There are no quantitative data on population size or trends. It is presumed to have suffered a substantial reduction in population size and extent in the past through habitat loss associated with logging, wildfires and the clearance of low and mid-elevation forests for agriculture. .... No active conservation management is currently being undertaken for this species."
  • In 2009 and 2010 some 10,000 of these fish were imported into the UK each year. Yet according to the IUCN "Unfortunately, this species' small population size, limited distribution, low fecundity, great parental investment, and rate of extraction lower this species resilience with corresponding severe negative effects.

    In 2009 and 2010 some 10,000 of these fish were imported into the UK each year. Yet according to the IUCN "Unfortunately, this species' small population size, limited distribution, low fecundity, great parental investment, and rate of extraction lower this species resilience with corresponding severe negative effects.

    Bangaii Cardinal fish
In 2009 and 2010 some 10,000 of these fish were imported into the UK each year. Yet according to the IUCN "Unfortunately, this species' small population size, limited distribution, low fecundity, great parental investment, and rate of extraction lower this species resilience with corresponding severe negative effects.... It has been heavily exploited by the aquarium trade since its rediscovery in 1994. Despite claims that captive breeding has been successful, most aquarium specimens are still captured in the wild. "
  • Regal pythons
Nearly 3000 royal pythons were imported legally into the UK from 2006 - 2010. 
According to the IUCN "Locally, this species is poached for meat and leather. However, their biggest threat is the international pet trade. In West Africa, many thousands are captured annually and exported." 

Balance of payments & carbon emissions
So what are the economic benefits of importing rare species into the UK to satisfy the pet trade? Why spend £GBP in overseas markets to denude other countries of their wildlife, much of which is flown around the world increasing carbon emissions, to satisfy the UK pet trade? Why not ban all live pet imports (This will give a boost to UK breeders as they will increase their own business to meet the demand), thus protecting wild populations, cutting carbon emissions and boosting the UK's trade balance?

BoJo has refused to guarantee fund for the Wildlife Crime Unit. Photo Copyright Wildlife Extra.

BoJo has refused to guarantee fund for the Wildlife Crime Unit. Photo Copyright Wildlife Extra.

Illegal trade
And this is just the Legal trade! London is documented as one of the centres for the illegal trade in wildlife, a trade that is worth an astonishing $10 billion per year. The London Wildlife Crime Unit is chronically underfunded, and threatened with closure. All the candidates in the recent London Mayoral elections pledged to maintain the funding for the unit, except Boris, who has studiously ignored the topic.

CITES
The import, export and use for commercial gain of certain species requires a CITES permit. CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international agreement between governments that came into force in 1975.

CITES quotas for endangered species in 2011, and the country that can issue the licences 

  Leopards Elephant tusks Black rhino Lion Cheetah Hippo Hippo kg Python
Totals 2573 3200 10 10 205 1200 10675 404200
Benin               46000
Botswana  130 800     5      
Cameroon   160            
CAR 40              
DRC 5             250
Ethiopia 500     10     75 100
Ghana               68500
Indonesia               212000
Malawi 50              
Malaysia               12000
Mozambique 120 200            
Namibia 250 180 5   150      
Niger               1000
South Africa 150 300 5          
Tanzania 500 400       1200 10600 250
Togo               64100
Uganda 28              
Zambia 300 160            
Zimbabwe 500 1000     50      

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