A new report released today finds that the illegal trade in the Roti Island snake-necked turtle, found only on one island in Indonesia, has left it all but extinct in the wild. Exotic pet enthusiasts in Europe, North America and East Asia are fueling the illegal trade for the turtle, often without realizing that they are contributing to its demise. No legal trade of this species has been allowed since 2001.
The report by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network of WWF and IUCN, "Trade of the Roti Island Snake-necked Turtle Chelodina mccordi," can be found in English and Bahasa Indonesian at www.traffic.org. WWF has worked for decades to stem the illegal trade in wildlife which is the second largest illegal trade in the world, next to drugs, and a major driver of the decline in wildlife worldwide.
"Collectors and exotic pet enthusiasts need to make sure that the specimens they purchase have not been illegally taken from the wild or illegally brought into the United States," said Simon Habel, Director of TRAFFIC North America. "Roti Island snake-necked turtles should not be purchased unless they have proper permits and documentation. Without strict enforcement of these laws the turtle will have no future in the wild."
Sarah Janicke | EurekAlert!
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