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A significant part of the pet trade deals with tropical species, from tropical to temperate countries and increasingly to meet domestic demand in tropical countries (Duarte-Quiroga and Estrada 2003; Shepherd et al. 2004; Nijman 2005). Furthermore, as apparently there are many affluent buyers in developing countries, there is a market for exotic pets (i.e. those species not indigenous to the country itself) within the developing world (Nijman and Shepherd selleck inhibitor PF-562271 manufacturer 2007): given that wildlife protection laws are not always strictly enforced in certain countries this included species that are not permitted to be traded or species for which trade is strictly regulated (Nijman 2006, 2010; Shepherd et al. 2004). In this
paper we focus on the international trade in poison arrow frogs for the pet market, with a focus on the Asian consumer countries. Poison arrow frogs (Dendrobatidae) are a highly species family of frogs occurring in Central and South America (Clough and Summers 2000; Vences et al. 2000; Bartlett 2003; Symula et al. 2003). Like other tropical frogs they are affected by habitat TCL loss and chytridiomycosis (an infectious disease caused by a zoosporic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis leading to sometimes high mortalities in amphibians: Daszak et al. 2003), but unsustainable capture for the pet trade may pose an additional threat (Schlaepfer et al. 2005; Gorzula 1996; Preece 1998). At least 30–40 species are encountered regularly in the international pet trade. Recognising the need for regulating
trade in dendrobatid frogs, on 22 October 1987 they were listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), regulating all commercial trade in these species (Gorzula 1996; Mrosovsky 1988; Pickett 1987). By then all range countries of dendrobatid frogs—that is countries in which the species occur naturally—were a Party to CITES. This paper provides an analysis of data available on the international trade in dendrobatid frogs and point at a curious trade route, with captive-bred specimens being exported by one CITES Party (Kazakhstan) to a non-CITES Party (Lebanon), after which they are then re-exported to another CITES Party (Thailand) only to be re-exported further into Asia. Methods Data were obtained from the WCMC-CITES database (http://www.unep-wcmc.org/citestrade). This database reports all records of import, export and re-export of CITES-listed species as reported by Parties.