EU import suspensions

Nationally protected –
internationally sold-off
EU: a main market for endemic herps
Dr. Sandra Altherr, CEEweb Seminar, Budapest, 17th June 2014
Why a focus on Reptile Trade?
• EU has become a main market for live reptiles
• Germany is by far the biggest player within the EU
• world’s biggest reptile show is in Hamm/Germany
(4 events/year) > clients from all-over Europe
• International reptile trade increasingly organised via
Websites & Facebook, especially for “rarities”
Reptile imports to the EU
What is illegal trade?
1. Violation of EU legislation
a) CITES App. I or II / EU Annex A or B
b) EU import suspensions
----------------------------------2. Trade in nationally protected species
Naultinus gemmeus
- Jewelled gecko
- Endemic to New Zealand
- CITES Appendix II (CoP16)
- No exports from NZ for
commercial purposes
- Individual patterns
>> photo database
Naultinus gemmeus
- Only occasionally offered (more adverts for N. grayii)
- 2013: Seizure after photo-ident. of wc specimens
7,000 Euro / pair
Varanus spinulosus
- Solomon Island spiny monitor
- Endemic to Solomon Islands
- CITES Appendix II
- EU-import suspension for
wild-caught specimens
- No successful captive
breeding so far
Varanus spinulosus
- Presently only offered
by one trader from
- Similar offers also for
wild-caught specimens
of Varanus salvadorii
and Corucia cebrata
1,500 Euro / animal
Protection on national level
Several aspects for national protection:
- Listed as a nationally protected species
- Range restricted to protected areas
- zero quota for exports
Lanthanotus borneensis
- Borneo earless monitor;
extremely rare
- Only non-CITES monitor lizard
- Nationally protected species
in Indonesia, totally
protected species in Malaysia
- Any export from both range
states is illegal
Lanthanotus borneensis
- May 2014: illegal collection of > 20 pairs in Borneo
- Early June: online adverts for Hamm from CZ & DE
8,000 Euro / pair
Abronia spp.
- arboreal alligator lizards
- 28 species, 25 endemic, 18 in
IUCN Red List
- Protected in Mexico and
Guatemala >> exports from
both range states are illegal
- very limited geographic
distribution; low reproduction
Abronia spp.
- Traders from CZ, DE, ES, FR, IT, NL, SE, UK
- April 2014: AC27 Inf. 16 & side event by Mexico
- May 2014: Guatamela asks EU for support for an
emergency CITES listing by postal voting
2,800 Euro / pair
Lyriocephalus scutatus
- Hump Snout Lizard
- Endemic to SW Sri Lanka
- Nationally protected
>> capture & exports illegal
- Classified as „Vulnerable“ in
national Red List
Lyriocephalus scutatus
- Presently offered by
traders from France and
2,000 Euro / pair
Atheris desaixi
• Mount Kenya Bush Viper
• Endemic to Kenya, only two
isolated populations known
• Nationally protected >> no
exports for commercial
purposes permitted
- Classified as „Vulnerable“ in
national Red List
Atheris desaixi
- openly offered as wildcaught, e.g. by trader from
4,000 Euro /
five specimens
Cnemaspis psychedelica
• psychedelic gecko, only described in 2010
• Endemic to Viet Nam (public access to Hon Khoai
Island is expressively prohibited)
• Species since 2012 on offer at EU pet market
Cnemaspis psychedelica
- Offered by traders from Russia, CZ, DE, and ES
2,500 Euro / pair
Suspect adverts
>>> Annex B, EU import suspension
>>> Annex B & nationally protected
>>> Annex B, no legal WC exports
>> nationally protected, no legal WC exports
- On EU import suspensions: Online adverts needed
to be systematically screened for openly labelled
“wild-caught” individuals of such species
- Some traders have specialised on nationally
protected high-prized species – which cannot be
seized when offered here in the EU
- The EU should pass an „EU Lacey Act“, which makes
illegal collection and export in country of origin a
crime within the EU
Thanks for your attention!

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