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      A star attraction: The illegal trade in Indian Star Tortoises

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      Nature Conservation

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          We report on illegal international trade in Indian Star Tortoises (Geochelone elegans), with a particular focus on India and Thailand.Within India, this species has received protection as a Schedule IV list species of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 for over 40 years. This study documents the illegal trade of 55,000 individuals poached from just one ‘trade hub’ in India. Although domestic demand persists, these individuals appear to have been primarily sourced to satiate international demand for pets in other Asian countries (e.g. Thailand and China). Since 1975, this species has been included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) that regulates all commercial trade. However, an analysis of the CITES trade records relating to Thailand imports (between 2004 and 2013) found large discrepancies indicating potential illegal activity which question the legitimacy of its founding captive stock. Given its role as a major hub of illegal trade activity, both as a consumer and a country of transit, we support calls for Thailand to prohibit private ownership by extending its domestic legislation to also cover non-indigenous tortoise species. In consideration of conservation and animal welfare concerns, we also call for more field research to determine the impacts of illegal trade on wild populations, an updated assessment of its conservation status, increased cooperation between national enforcement agencies, and the implementation of targeted human behaviour change initiatives to help reduce consumer demand for this species.

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          Reptilian ethology in captivity: Observations of some problems and an evaluation of their aetiology

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            Welfare and Environmental Implications of Farmed Sea Turtles

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              The role of Asia in the global trade in CITES II-listed poison arrow frogs: hopping from Kazakhstan to Lebanon to Thailand and beyond

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Conservation
                NC
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-3301
                1314-6947
                November 09 2015
                November 09 2015
                : 13
                : 1-19
                Article
                10.3897/natureconservation.13.5625
                © 2015

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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