Published 17th August 2011
Jakarta, Indonesia 17th August 2011—The open trade in protected freshwater turtles and tortoises in Jakarta’s markets includes a growing number of non-native and threatened species, a new TRAFFIC study warns.
Carrie J. Stengel,Chris R. Shepherd, Olivier S. Caillabet
Surveys in the Indonesian capital’s animal markets, reptile expos and pet stores showed that there were more species in trade in 2010 (49 species) than recorded in a similar study in 2004 (47) by the wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC.
(PDF, 900 KB) also reported that over 70 per cent of species seen in trade in Jakarta originated outside Indonesia, compared to just over half in 2004. Much of these were from other parts of Asia, with the highly-prized Indian Star Tortoise topping the list.
The 2010 observations found a total of 139 individuals of seven species listed in Appendix I of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora), compared to 113 individuals of six species observed in 2004 – such species are prohibited from international commercial trade.
Those found in 2010 were the Black Spotted Pond Turtle Geoclemys hamiltonii, Egyptian Tortoise Testudo kleinmanni, Indian Peacock Softshell Aspideretes hurum, Indian Softshell Turtle Aspirderetes gangetica, Ploughshare Tortoise Astrochelys yniphora, Radiated Tortoise Astrochelys radiata and Spider Tortoise Pyxis arachnoids.
Also found were native species like the Pig-nosed Turtle Carettochelys insculpta, New Guinea Snapping Turtle Elseya novaeguineae and the Malaysian Giant Turtle Orlitia borneensis, all totally protected under Indonesian national law.
The 2010 data confirm previous findings about the levels of illegal trade in freshwater turtles and tortoises in Jakarta’s markets and also demonstrates how it has persisted
Carrie J. Stengel, researcher with TRAFFIC Southeast Asia
“Of further concern is the apparent increasing emphasis on rare and threatened species in the pet trade.”
With more Asian freshwater turtles and tortoises expected to become Critically Endangered in the coming years, the ramifications of such targeted and persistent illegal extraction and trade will be enormous.
The report acknowledges Indonesia’s efforts to strengthen relevant legislation, build enforcement capacity and increase seizures but points to the continuing illegal trade as proof that much more needs to be done.
“The wildlife markets and expos in Jakarta need to be carefully monitored and anyone found selling illegal species must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Chris R. Shepherd, Deputy Regional Director, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia.
“These markets have been selling illegal wildlife for decades and it is time the authorities show this will not be tolerated any longer.”
were recorded in trade in 2010, up from 47 in 2004
of species seen in trade in Jakarta originated outside Indonesia
of seven species listed in Appendix I of CITES were observed, up from 113 of six in 2004
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