The European Union continues to be one of the biggest importers of animals destined for the exotic pet trade. While the majority of individuals in trade are from a limited number of species, there is also a significant demand for rare species, particularly reptile and amphibian species – regardless of whether there are only small populations thereof in the wild or whether they are scarcely available due to national protection measures in their country of origin.
Only a very small fraction of the species in trade are actually covered by international and/or EU legislation. However, many species in trade, which are protected in non-EU countries under domestic legislation, have nonetheless been caught in the wild and exported in violation of the country of origin’s national law.
The present report is part IV of the series “Stolen Wildlife” (see Altherr 2014; Altherr et al. 2016; Altherr & Lameter 2020a).
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