1
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
1 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Betting the farm: A review of Ball Python and other reptile trade from Togo, West Africa

      Read this article at

      ScienceOpenPublisher
      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Our review of the CITES trade database confirmed that the ball python is the most exported species by Togo; with 1,657,814 live individuals – comprising 60% of all live reptiles – reported by importing countries since 1978 (almost 55,000 annually since 1992). In total, 99% of the ball pythons legally exported from Togo under CITES were intended for commercial use, presumably as exotic pets. Since the turn of the century, wild-sourced snakes exported from Togo have been largely replaced with ranched snakes, to the extent that in the last 10 years 95% of these live exports were recorded using CITES source code “R” with the majority destined for the USA. We found discrepancies in the CITES trade database that suggest ball python exports were consistently underestimated by Togo and that both ranched and wild-sourced ball python annual quotas have been exceeded on multiple occasions including as recently as 2017. Furthermore, our field visits to seven of these “python farms” revealed that they are also involved in the commercial trade in at least 46 other reptile species, including eight that are already involved in formal CITES trade reviews due to concerns regarding their sustainability and legality. Ranching operations in West Africa were once thought to provide a degree of protection for the ball python; however, in light of recent research, there is growing concern that ranching may not confer any significant net conservation benefits. Further scrutiny and research are required to ensure the long-term survival of wild ball python and other reptile species populations in Togo.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 24

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Are snake populations in widespread decline?

          Long-term studies have revealed population declines in fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. In birds, and particularly amphibians, these declines are a global phenomenon whose causes are often unclear. Among reptiles, snakes are top predators and therefore a decline in their numbers may have serious consequences for the functioning of many ecosystems. Our results show that, of 17 snake populations (eight species) from the UK, France, Italy, Nigeria and Australia, 11 have declined sharply over the same relatively short period of time with five remaining stable and one showing signs of a marginal increase. Although the causes of these declines are currently unknown, we suspect that they are multi-faceted (such as habitat quality deterioration, prey availability), and with a common cause, e.g. global climate change, at their root.
            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: not found
            • Article: not found

            Rough Trade

            (2013)
              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: found
              Is Open Access

              A Stated Preference Investigation into the Chinese Demand for Farmed vs. Wild Bear Bile

              Farming of animals and plants has recently been considered not merely as a more efficient and plentiful supply of their products but also as a means of protecting wild populations from that trade. Amongst these nascent farming products might be listed bear bile. Bear bile has been exploited by traditional Chinese medicinalists for millennia. Since the 1980s consumers have had the options of: illegal wild gall bladders, bile extracted from caged live bears or the acid synthesised chemically. Despite these alternatives bears continue to be harvested from the wild. In this paper we use stated preference techniques using a random sample of the Chinese population to estimate demand functions for wild bear bile with and without competition from farmed bear bile. We find a willingness to pay considerably more for wild bear bile than farmed. Wild bear bile has low own price elasticity and cross price elasticity with farmed bear bile. The ability of farmed bear bile to reduce demand for wild bear bile is at best limited and, at prevailing prices, may be close to zero or have the opposite effect. The demand functions estimated suggest that the own price elasticity of wild bear bile is lower when competing with farmed bear bile than when it is the only option available. This means that the incumbent product may actually sell more items at a higher price when competing than when alone in the market. This finding may be of broader interest to behavioural economists as we argue that one explanation may be that as product choice increases price has less impact on decision making. For the wildlife farming debate this indicates that at some prices the introduction of farmed competition might increase the demand for the wild product.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Conservation
                NC
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-3301
                1314-6947
                July 01 2020
                July 01 2020
                : 40
                : 65-91
                Article
                10.3897/natureconservation.40.48046
                © 2020

                Comments

                Comment on this article