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Dynamics of the trade in reptiles and amphibians within the United Kingdom over a ten-year period

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This study compared the trade in reptiles and amphibians in the United Kingdom between 1992–3 and 2004–5. In particular, the impacts of captive breeding and colour and pattern morphs on price structures were examined. The number of amphibian and reptile species in the trade more than doubled over this period, and less than a third of the species traded were common to both trading periods. More traded species were listed by CITES in 1992–3 than in 2004–5. Taking into account inflation, the study showed that the price of all groups of reptiles and amphibians recorded increased over the ten-year period, and that some snake species had done so dramatically when colour and pattern morphs were considered. The price change of chelonians was probably the result of responses to changes in various trade regulations. Price increases for amphibians seemed to represent their increased popularity, coupled with the overhead costs of captive breeding on a commercial scale being transferred to the hobbyist. The increased popularity of captive-bred colour and pattern morphs could alleviate pressure on wild stocks. On the other hand, as such animals are predominantly being produced outside their countries of origin, no benefits accrue to local people and trade could undermine sustainable use programmes for wild animals.
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Keywords: CITES; ECONOMICS; SUSTAINABILITY; WILDLIFE TRADE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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