Wildly varying figures pose problems for tracking endangered species
Washington, DC– The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is supposed to help governments conserve endangered species by regulating the international sale and transport of wildlife.
However, a new study by scientists from Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund shows that in some cases, the figures for trade recorded by CITES vary wildly from records kept by the U.S. Customs Service. Their findings indicate the U.S. system for tracking endangered wildlife is failing to properly register the actual numbers of plants and animals involved.
According to the study, published in the journal Conservation Biology, the CITES and U.S. Customs figures for imports and exports of certain species should be the same, but vary by as much as 5,200 percent. In all cases studied, CITES and Customs reported substantially different trade volumes for all species.
Tom Cohen | EurekAlert!
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