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COP-19 to the rescue of freshwater turtles and “crystal frogs”

The COP-19 convention of the Conference on Worldwide Commerce in Endangered Species (CITES) will go throughout its second week in Panama to the rescue of a dozen species of freshwater turtles and so-called “crystal” frogs as a result of their clear pores and skin permits their inner organs to be seen.

Delegates from greater than 180 international locations and consultants within the safety of endangered species, assembly for every week in Panama, selected Monday to take care of the overall ban on the commerce in white rhinoceros horn (Ceratotherium simum simum).

Eswatini (ex-Swaziland), sponsored by Botswana and Namibia, to chill out the commerce in horns of its rhinos to release sources to finance the safety of the species was rejected on Monday by 85 votes in opposition to 15 and 26 abstentions regardless of the help of Japan and a number of other African international locations. Different African international locations, the European Union, Israel and Panama had beforehand referred to as for any improvement to be rejected.

Equally, delegates refused to permit the resumption of ivory commerce, even regulated, to the satisfaction of the NGO Worldwide Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

The “authorized ivory commerce opens alternatives for traffickers of elephant ivory hunted by poachers,” argues IFAW Vice President Matthew Collis.

– Reptiles and batrachians –

The safety of reptiles and amphibians guarantees to be among the many highlights of this nineteenth CITES convention: it must determine by its closing on Friday on the principles for advertising and marketing a dozen species of freshwater turtles , and as many sorts of “crystal frogs”.

“Freshwater turtles are among the many principal species victims of worldwide site visitors and are underneath stress” for that reason, explains to AFP Yovana Murillo, of the NGO Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

4 Latin American international locations (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru) suggest to place in Appendix II (regulated commerce) the Matamatas turtles Chelus fimbriaba, from the Amazon basin, and Chelus orinocensis from the Orinoco.

“The Matamatas are affected by many threats: destruction of their habitat, air pollution but additionally unlawful commerce, consumption of their flesh and eggs, and now (trafficking) to make them pets (… ) due to their traits”, laments to AFP Doris Rodriguez, of the service of forests and wildlife of Peru (Serfor).

A crystal frog within the Cordillera Escalera Mountains Nature Reserve in Tarapoto, northeastern Peru, on July 11, 2022 (AFP/Archives – ERNESTO BENAVIDES)

These spiny-shelled turtles, which measure about fifty centimeters for about fifteen kilos, appear to be dwelling fossils that significantly appeal to collectors.

Additionally it is the spectacular morphology of the “crystal frogs” (Centrolenidae) that makes them the popular prey of traffickers. Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Peru, the Dominican Republic, the US and 5 African international locations have agreed to request the safety that these frogs presently lack. nocturnal humid forests of Central and South America.

The president of Committee I, the Briton Vincent Fleming, held Monday to salute “a optimistic story of restoration of a species”. Noting the improved standing of the Aleutian Cackling Goose (Branta canadensis leucopareia), the Committee agreed by consensus, on the request of the US, to maneuver this species of untamed duck from Appendix I ( whole ban on advertising and marketing) in Appendix II permitting regulated advertising and marketing.

COP-19 also needs to make a significant foray into the seas, deciding in plenary to guard Requiem sharks and hammerhead sharks by itemizing them in Appendix II in an effort to curb the commerce in shark fins and forestall them from ending up in soup.

The value of shark fins can attain a thousand {dollars} per kilo in Asian markets, particularly in Hong Kong. Hammerhead sharks and Requiem sharks present half of the gross sales, estimated at half a billion {dollars} every year.

CITES, in pressure since 1975, units the principles for worldwide commerce for greater than 36,000 wild species, starting from the issuance of permits (greater than 1,000,000 transactions licensed per yr) to whole prohibition.

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