World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Alarming rise in Black Spotted Turtle trade across Asia

Alarming rise in Black Spotted Turtle trade across Asia


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 23rd May 2014 – Illegal international trade of the Black Spotted Turtle in Asia has escalated over recent years and immediate action is required to stem the flow, a new TRAFFIC report has found.

The attractive spotted visage of the Black Spotted Turtle Geoclemys hamiltonii may well be its downfall. The species is known to be traded for meat, medicine and pets, although TRAFFIC's research attributes the sudden rise in demand to the exotic pet trade.

Over 1,960 animals were seized between January 2008 and March 2014. Of these, 95 per cent were confiscated in the final 15 months of that period.

A seizure of another 230 turtles on May 14th underscored the seriousness of the threat. Royal Thai Customs officers in Suvarnabhumi International Airport found the turtles packed in unclaimed bags which had come in on a flight from Kolkata, India.

Seizure information indicates that shipments of the turtles from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan transit through South-east Asian hubs such as Bangkok and are destined for East Asia, in particular Hong Kong. Most of the seizures are from passengers using commercial airlines concealing animals in their baggage. The majority of couriers caught were arrested but only two of the 22 cases recorded resulted in successful prosecutions.

"Enforcement authorities' efforts to detect and apprehend smugglers are commendable, but a lack of follow-on investigations and prosecution is undoing their good work," said Dr Chris R Shepherd, Regional Director for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia. "It is high time for wildlife criminals to be appropriately dealt with for the serious offences they are committing."

The Black Spotted Turtle is protected under national laws in its range countries and is listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). All commercial international trade in this species is illegal.

The report recommends improving enforcement and prosecution through multilateral and multi-agency coordination. Timely and detailed reporting of seizures to the CITES Secretariat and in the media, together with the outcomes of successful prosecutions, are also urged.

"Wildlife enforcement networks already exist in South and South-east Asia, but given the transnational operations of the criminal networks they are up against, the challenge is to ensure a fully co-ordinated global enforcement response to their activities is delivered," said Dr. Yannick Kuehl, Regional Director for TRAFFIC in East and South Asia

Next week, Viet Nam hosts the 9th Meeting of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network in Hanoi, at which Strategic Action Plan Development will be discussed, alongside the Special Investigations Group approach on key wildlife trafficking issues linking South-east Asia and other trading partners.

"TRAFFIC hopes our targeted analysis of trafficking routes will assist the region's Wildlife Enforcement Networks in planning enforcement actions aimed at breaking the lines of supply and demand," said Shepherd.

TRAFFIC's findings were released today, World Turtle Day, to highlight the plight of the Black Spotted Turtle and many other species of turtles worldwide, particularly those in Asia which are under threat mainly from habitat loss and over-exploitation for food, medicine and the exotic pet trade.

"Turtle species are seriously threatened - nowhere more so than in Asia with 17 of the 25 most critically endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles on the IUCN Red List found in the region," said James Tallant, Senior Programme Officer - Species, IUCN Natural Resources Group, Asia.

"IUCN is working with partners across Asia, including TRAFFIC to stem the tide of biodiversity loss. It is very good to see the plight of turtle species being brought to international attention on World Turtle Day. We hope this leads to greater understanding and effective conservation action worldwide."

Escalating Black Spotted Turtle Geoclemys hamiltonii trade in Asia: a study of seizures. http://www.traffic.org/species-reports/traffic_species_reptiles36.pdf

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:

Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>

ALSO:

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news