Title

The chelonian trade in the largest pet market in China : scale, scope and impact on turtle conservation

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Oryx

Publication Date

4-2009

Volume

43

Issue

2

First Page

213

Last Page

216

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Abstract

China is the largest consumer of turtles in the world and international trade has been cited as the greatest threat to Asian turtles. Two main types of trade in live turtles occur in China: for food and traditional Chinese medicine, and for pets, including those for release by Buddhists. The food trade involves the largest quantities of turtles. In recent years, however, the international pet turtle trade has increased dramatically. Yuehe Pet Market in Guangzhou is the largest pet market in China. selling live chelonians and other animals. To understand the potential impacts of the pet trade on chelonians we conducted seven surveys in Yuehe Pet Market from August 2006 to March 2008. Over 39,000 individual chelonians of 61 species were recorded (19.1% of the global total of 319 species). Fifteen (24.6%) of these species are native to China and 46 (75.4%) are native to other countries. Two are designated as grade II key state-protected species in China. Thirty-eight (62.3%) are CITES listed species (four in CITES Appendix I, 26 in CITES II and eight in CITES III). Four are categorized on the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered, 16 as Endangered and 19 as Vulnerable. Our surveys indicate that increasing demand and the illegal international pet trade could be having a severe impact on chelonian conservation, and we make recommendations for law enforcement and conservation.

DOI

10.1017/S0030605308000902

Print ISSN

00306053

E-ISSN

13653008

Publisher Statement

Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2009. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Gong, S.-P., Chow, A.T., Fong, J.J. & Shi, H.-T. (2009). The chelonian trade in the largest pet market in China: Scale, scope and impact on turtle conservation. Oryx, 43(2), 213–216. doi: 10.1017/S0030605308000902