Study: Wildlife trade figures unreliable

November 4, 2005

Wildlife trade reported by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora reportedly differs from government figures.

The Convention is designed to assist governments conserve endangered species by regulating the international sale and transport of wildlife.

Scientists from Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund say in some cases the figures for trade recorded by CITES vary wildly from records kept by the U.S. Customs Service.

The environmental groups say their research indicated the U.S. system for tracking endangered wildlife fails to register properly the numbers of plants and animals involved.

According to the study the CITES and U.S. Customs figures for imports and exports of certain species should be the same, but vary by as much as 5,200 percent.

"To solve any problem, it's important to understand the problem first. Our findings suggest we don't know as much as we must about the international wildlife trade to conserve endangered species," said Art Blundell, the study's lead author and Center for Applied Biodiversity Science fellow at Conservation International.

The study is detailed in the journal Conservation Biology.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: UN adopts resolution to fight wildlife trafficking

Related Stories

Saving the slow loris

July 14, 2015

In the forest canopies of Vietnam lives a cryptic creature called the slow loris. It's steady, solitary and downright adorable, with tiny, fuzzy round ears and the impossibly large eyes common to nocturnal animals.

Lions returned to Rwanda 15 years after population wiped out

July 1, 2015

The sedated, blindfolded lions lay in the dirt, unwitting passengers about to embark on a 30-hour, 2,500-mile (4,000-kilometer) journey by truck and plane from South Africa to Rwanda, whose lion population was wiped out following ...

Recommended for you

Earliest evidence of reproduction in a complex organism

August 3, 2015

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have found the earliest example of reproduction in a complex organism. Their new study has found that some organisms known as rangeomorphs, which lived 565 million years ago, ...

New lizard named after Sir David Attenborough

August 3, 2015

A research team led by Dr Martin Whiting from the Department of Biological Sciences recently discovered a beautifully coloured new species of flat lizard, which they have named Platysaurus attenboroughi, after Sir David Attenborough.

'Snowball earth' might be slushy

August 3, 2015

Imagine a world without liquid water—just solid ice in all directions. It would certainly not be a place that most life forms would like to live.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.