CITES Confiscations of Illicit Wildlife Trade: An article by Cruz and MacDonald (Nature Conservation, 15:47-63, 2016) analyzed available reports on illicit wildlife trade confiscations conducted under CITES by nation states. A couple of major conclusions were that the data were inadequate due to their “non-standardized” form, “insufficient” and “absent data.” A second finding was that the majority of confiscations concerned species that were not threatened with imminent extinction. This article reinforces the idea that CITES depends on actions of nation-states and thus the efficacy of its listings are no better than the national enforcement activities. Clearly, there are many “weak links” in the enforcement chain. A related Associated Press story by Christopher Torchia accessed from http://frontpage.pch.com/story/313671/global-efforts-against-ivory-traffickers-still-falling-short
reports that there is still an “upward trend” in the seizure of large-scale ivory poaching (i.e. over 220 pounds) and that occurrence of shipments of greater than half a ton indicates international criminal associates are involved. The article cites Wildlife Conservation Society official as stating that most countries have the capacity to go after wildlife poaching like they do after drug trafficking but generally limit their efforts to “low-scale” operators instead. Note that CITES has the ability to suspend wildlife trade with countries “that ignore its guidelines.” However, how often does this occur? The U.S. and other nations have a few times threatened trade sanctions on countries that violate conservation conventions.
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During my research for the book, I noticed that there was no blog available for sharing informaton on wildlife conservation and thus I set up this blog to accomplish this purpose. Please share any informaticoncerning issues related to wildife policy and politics. I welcome feedback from users concerning this blog and website.