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A review of the international trade in amphibians: the types, levels and dynamics of trade in CITES-listed species

  • Angus I. Carpenter (a1), Franco Andreone (a2), Robin D. Moore (a3) and Richard A. Griffiths (a4)

Abstract

Globally, amphibians face many potential threats, including international trade. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the types, levels and dynamics of the amphibian trade at the global scale. This study reviewed the trade in CITES-listed species between 1976 and 2007. Four main trade groups (eggs, skins, meat and individuals) were identified. Trade in amphibian leather focused on Hoplobatrachus tigerinus (5,572 individuals), whereas trade in eggs focused on Ambystoma mexicanum (6,027 eggs). However, for the entire study period (1976–2007), trade in skins and eggs was small compared with trade in meat and live animals. The meat trade was estimated to be worth > USD 111 million, whereas the trade in live animals was estimated to be worth > USD 11.5 million in only three of the genera involved. Trade dynamics have changed as a result of changes in legislation, such as a ban on H. tigerinus exports from Bangladesh for meat. Within the live trade 22 species categorized as either Critically Endangered or Endangered were traded during the study period, and these require greater attention. International trade and potential conservation benefits are affected by countries supplying captive-bred individuals to their domestic markets as this trade goes unrecorded. However, this study only investigated trade in species listed by CITES, and other species may comprise a significant additional component of international trade. The trade in amphibians is dynamic, and changes in both the types of trade and the species concerned were identified over the study period. Conservation concerns have multiplied from issues concerning population depletions to include indirect impacts associated with disease, predation and competition, which requires a reappraisal of data capture and reporting.

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Corresponding author

(Corresponding author) E-mail carpenter.angus@gmail.com

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Oryx
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  • EISSN: 1365-3008
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