All Turtle Proposals at CITES Approved

Status
Not open for further replies.

Cowboy_Ken

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
17,539
Location (City and/or State)
Suburban-life in Salem, Oregon
U.S. Leads Efforts to Protect Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises at CITES-All Turtles Proposals were Approved. (US Species- Blandings, Spotted and Diamondback Terrapins & 44 species of Asian Turtles)

(Bangkok, Thailand—8 March 2013) Several United States proposals to increase protections for freshwater turtles and tortoises under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) have been adopted today by member nations of the Treaty. CITES member nations, referred to as “Parties,” voted to increase protections for 44 species of Asian freshwater turtles and tortoises and three species of North American pond turtles.
“We are extremely heartened by today’s vote to give greater protection to these highly imperiled species,” said Bryan Arroyo, head of the U.S. delegation to the CITES 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16). “More than half of the world’s freshwater turtles are threatened with extinction, yet they continue to be traded, unsustainably, for food, as pets, and in traditional medicines. We’ve taken a significant step forward today to begin managing that trade.”
The United States jointly submitted with China two proposals to increase CITES protection for a number of Asian softshell and hardshell turtle species. These proposals included new additions to the Appendices, “uplisting” species from Appendix II to Appendix I, and the setting of zero export quotas. These proposals were agreed by consensus with strong support voiced by range states, Thailand, Japan, India, Pakistan, Liberia, Indonesia, and non-range states, Guinea and Paraguay.
Proposals to transfer species from Appendix II to Appendix I were also agreed by consensus—a proposal for big-headed turtles, jointly submitted by the United States and Viet Nam, and a U.S. proposal for Burmese star tortoise. A proposal for the Roti Island snake-necked turtle was agreed by consensus after being amended to maintain the species on CITES Appendix II with a zero export quota in wild specimens—effectively banning international commercial trade in turtles taken from the wild.
“Freshwater turtles worldwide are in desperate need of conservation, and the outlook for Asian turtles is especially grim. We are committed to working with China and Viet Nam and other CITES member nations to ensure the survival of these species,” said Arroyo.
As Asian species have become increasingly depleted, trade patterns are shifting to species native to the United States. To address this growing problem, the United States proposed to list three native turtle species—the diamondback terrapin, spotted turtle, and Blanding’s turtle—in CITES Appendix II to manage the trade in a legal and sustainable manner. Canada, Senegal, and Ireland, on behalf of the 27 member states of the European Union and Croatia, among others, voiced strong support for these proposals before they were agreed by consensus.
Turtles are in serious trouble around the world. Increasingly, freshwater turtles are in danger, with over half of the world’s species threatened with extinction. Tortoises and freshwater turtles are the most threatened of any major group of terrestrial vertebrates – more than mammals, birds, or amphibians. They are being collected, traded, and utilized in overwhelming numbers. They are used for food, pets, and traditional medicine. Eggs, juveniles, adults, and body parts are all exploited with little regard for sustainability. In Asia, turtles are used primarily as food and in traditional medicine, although a growing pet trade across the region impacts a number of threatened species.
The global commerce in turtles in the last 20+ years has followed a well-known pattern in international wildlife trade – once a species is depleted or regulated, the trade shifts to other species that are not as threatened or are less regulated.
“We must address this issue by taking a broad scale approach to protecting freshwater turtles and tortoises. If we fail to consider these trade patterns, we risk the depletion of turtles and tortoises one species at a time,” said Arroyo.
CITES is an international agreement initiated in 1973 and is currently signed by 178 countries regulating global trade in imperiled wild animals and plants including their parts and products. A meeting of the Conference of the Parties is held every 2-3 years to review, discuss, and negotiate changes in the management and control of trade in the various wildlife species covered by the agreement.
Species protected by CITES are included in one of three appendices. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction and provides the greatest level of protection, including restrictions on commercial trade. Appendix II includes species that, although currently not threatened with extinction, may become so without trade controls. Changes to Appendices I and II must be proposed at a CoP and agreed to by a two-thirds majority of the Parties present and voting. In contrast, listings to Appendix III can be requested by individual Parties at any time. Appendix III includes species protected by at least one country that needs assistance from other Parties to control trade.
For additional biological and trade information on freshwater turtles and tortoises, please visit http://www.fws.gov/international/cites/cop16/turtles-and-tortoises.html. To learn more about the Asian freshwater turtle and tortoise proposals that were submitted for consideration to CoP16, please refer to our fact sheet at http://www.fws.gov/international/cites/cop16/cop16-asian-turtle-proposals-factsheet.pdf.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws<http://www.facebook.com/usfws>, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq<http://www.twitter.com/usfwshq>, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Media Contact:
Bangkok, Thailand: Danielle Kessler
+66 (0) 81-750-4216
[email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>

USA: Chris Tollefson
703-358-2222
[email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>
 

theTurtleRoom

Active Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
410
Location (City and/or State)
Lititz, PA
Here is a recap touching on the basics of each change:

All proposals relating to turtles were accepted at CITES convention this week. The changes are listed below:

Chelodina mccordi (Roti-Island Snake-Neck) - Up to Appendix I
Clemmys guttata (Spotted Turtle) - Added - App. II
Emydoidea blandingii (Blanding's Turtle) - Added - App. II
Malaclemys terrapin (Diamondback Terrapin) - Added - App. II
Cuora galbinifrons (Indochinese Box Turtle) - Up to App. I
Geoemyda japonica (Ryukyu Black-Breasted Leaf Turtle) - Added - App. II
Mauremys annamensis (Annam Leaf Turtle) - Up to App. I
Platysternidae (Big-Headed Turtles) - Up to App. I
Geochelone platynota (Burmese Star Tortoise) - Up to App. I

Aspideretes leithii, Dogania subplana, Nilssonia formosa, Palea steindachneri, Pelodiscus axenaria, P. maackii, P. parviformis, and Rafetus swinhoei - Added or Up to App. II

Chitra chitra and C. vandijki - Up to App. I

Cyclemys spp., Geoemyda japonica, Geoemyda spengleri, Hardella thurjii, Mauremys japonica, M. nigricans, Melanochelys trijuga, Morenia petersi, Sacalia bealei, S. quadriocellata, and Vijayachelys silvatica - Up to or Added to App. II

Batagur borneoensis, B. trivittata, Cuora aurocapitata, C. flavomarginata, C. galbinifrons, C. mccordi, C. mouhotii, C. pani, C. trifasciata, C. yunnanensis, C. zhoui, Heosemys annandalii, H. depressa, Mauremys annamensis, Orlitia borneensis - Remained in same appendix, but wild quota of 0 is adopted.
 

Cowboy_Ken

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
17,539
Location (City and/or State)
Suburban-life in Salem, Oregon
Will, I receive information through Alan Salzberg's tireless efforts at;
HerpDigest [email protected]
__________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology.
_______________________________________________________
HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted.
____________________________________________________________
To subscribe go to www.herpdigest.org and sign up.
 

EricIvins

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
1,183
It is such a shame, seeing that CITES has not stopped the extinction of any animals on it appendices.......I wish people really knew what was going on......

The world does not need CITES, what it needs is species protection at the grassroots level. Same goes with the ESA. Both are antiquated programs that really serve no purpose in modern times.......
 

Benjamin

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
773
Location (City and/or State)
zone 7b
EricIvins said:
It is such a shame, seeing that CITES has not stopped the extinction of any animals on it appendices.......I wish people really knew what was going on......

The world does not need CITES, what it needs is species protection at the grassroots level. Same goes with the ESA. Both are antiquated programs that really serve no purpose in modern times.......
What do you suggest be done?
 

EricIvins

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
1,183
Benjamin said:
EricIvins said:
It is such a shame, seeing that CITES has not stopped the extinction of any animals on it appendices.......I wish people really knew what was going on......

The world does not need CITES, what it needs is species protection at the grassroots level. Same goes with the ESA. Both are antiquated programs that really serve no purpose in modern times.......
What do you suggest be done?

Species protection at the grassroots level. Countries already establish their own quotas and laws. Let those countries enforce them. If they need help, let them come to the international community and do so. The International community does not need to come to them to push their own agendas. India has done this since 1972. Why are Geoclemmys Hamiltoni on the ESA when they have been protected for so long in their home range? Restricting Interstate commerce in the US does what to protect those animals?
 

Kapidolo Farms

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
5,080
Location (City and/or State)
South of Southern California, but not Mexico
Cowboy_Ken said:
Will, I receive information through Alan Salzberg's tireless efforts at;
HerpDigest [email protected]
__________________________________________
Sales From All Items Advertised In HerpDigest Goes Directly To Keep HerpDigest.org Free, Alive And An Independent Voice In The World Of Herpetology.
_______________________________________________________
HerpDigest.org Is A 501 © 3 Non-Profit Organization. So Donations Are Of Course Gratefully Accepted.
____________________________________________________________
To subscribe go to www.herpdigest.org and sign up.

Hi, I get Allen's newsletter too, just you got it posted fast, and before I had looked at e-mail. Will
 

cdmay

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
1,919
Location (City and/or State)
Somewhere in Florida
CITES, while well intentioned has in fact created roadblocks to many species recovery. For example if the restrictions on trade within the United States was lifted, turtle species such as radiated tortoises, the above mention G. hamiltoni and numerous others would actually be common within this and other countries outside of their natural ranges. Captive breeding has proved to be easy and very productive for many species but since CITES restrictions hamper the trade of these legally produced animals across state and international lines breeders cannot get them to others without a lot of legal hassle. So a lot of us don't bother working with turtle species that although endangered in their native lands, are actually commonly reproduced here in the United States. The issue of what to do with all of the hatchlings they produce ties the hands of countless potential breeders.
 

theTurtleRoom

Active Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
410
Location (City and/or State)
Lititz, PA
cdmay said:
CITES, while well intentioned has in fact created roadblocks to many species recovery. For example if the restrictions on trade within the United States was lifted, turtle species such as radiated tortoises, the above mention G. hamiltoni and numerous others would actually be common within this and other countries outside of their natural ranges. Captive breeding has proved to be easy and very productive for many species but since CITES restrictions hamper the trade of these legally produced animals across state and international lines breeders cannot get them to others without a lot of legal hassle. So a lot of us don't bother working with turtle species that although endangered in their native lands, are actually commonly reproduced here in the United States. The issue of what to do with all of the hatchlings they produce ties the hands of countless potential breeders.


CD - the ESA, not CITES, is what restricts the animals across state lines. As far as moving things internationally, I know of numerous occasions where people have submitted the proper paperwork to import and export CITES-listed species. Frankly, CJTES makes a lot more sense than the ESA.
 

cdmay

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
1,919
Location (City and/or State)
Somewhere in Florida
theTurtleRoom said:
CD - the ESA, not CITES, is what restricts the animals across state lines. As far as moving things internationally, I know of numerous occasions where people have submitted the proper paperwork to import and export CITES-listed species. Frankly, CJTES makes a lot more sense than the ESA.

Thanks for the correction. I had always thought it was CITES but I guess I was wrong. But regardless, there are restrictions placed on the transport of CITES listed animals across state lines. This was the point of what I was getting at.
 

theTurtleRoom

Active Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
410
Location (City and/or State)
Lititz, PA
cdmay said:
theTurtleRoom said:
CD - the ESA, not CITES, is what restricts the animals across state lines. As far as moving things internationally, I know of numerous occasions where people have submitted the proper paperwork to import and export CITES-listed species. Frankly, CJTES makes a lot more sense than the ESA.

Thanks for the correction. I had always thought it was CITES but I guess I was wrong. But regardless, there are restrictions placed on the transport of CITES listed animals across state lines. This was the point of what I was getting at.


That is true. Though, I've been told, by a reliable source, that USFWS will give out CBW permits for non-US native species on the ESA. Additionally, I know of a number of people who have received the permits to purchase A.radiata across state lines. So, it can be done, for those who want to put the time, effort, and paperwork into it.
 

tortadise

Well-Known Member
Moderator
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
9,563
Location (City and/or State)
Tropical South Texas
CBW permits are easy for many to obtain. The difficulty lies within the ESP (Endangered Species Permit) which is what you have to attain for the Yniphoria before possession. On another note. I do agree with Erics statement of the "grassroots" methods. TSA seems to be doing this in Myanmar with supplying knowledge, food, educations, and awareness of Platynota. I do think CITES halting a mass of these species is a good start to helping. But we also need to implement the grassroots methods as well. Great article and post Ken.
 

cdmay

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
1,919
Location (City and/or State)
Somewhere in Florida
theTurtleRoom said:
That is true. Though, I've been told, by a reliable source, that USFWS will give out CBW permits for non-US native species on the ESA. Additionally, I know of a number of people who have received the permits to purchase A.radiata across state lines. So, it can be done, for those who want to put the time, effort, and paperwork into it.


This is also what I was getting at...the very fact that both parties involved in the transaction must apply for, pay for and then possess permits creates the roadblock. In addition these days there are many folks who have an aversion to registering anything with the federal government. Right or wrong they do not want to expose themselves to being visited by the feds and having their animals confiscated. I know of numerous horror stories in past years where LEGAL animals were seized and only through very expensive legal action were they returned--often sick or dying from the experience.
Not everyone wants to go through that hassle and expense and frankly, they shouldn't have to.
And think about radiated tortoises for a moment, although they are highly endangered in Madagascar they are not here in the U.S. They are being bred every year at an increasing rate by even relatively novice keepers. Yet because of the regulations, reproduction of these tortoises is hampered by unnecessary paperwork, registration, fees and so on.
Here is another classic example, Geoclemmys hamiltoni mentioned earlier. These turtle are being bred in ridiculous numbers now but because of the serious restrictions placed on their transport by the ESA or CITES or whatever at least a couple of breeders that I know of have to give their neonates away here in the state of Florida because they can't sell them legally anywhere else--without the hassle and worry.
Because of permit restrictions breeders (like myself and others) fear getting busted for selling to non-permit holders and so there are far fewer healthy, captive bred examples of these endangered turtles than there could (or should) be.
 

Madkins007

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Messages
5,393
Location (City and/or State)
Nebraska
There is also the Lacey Act, which makes it illegal to own, etc. and animal that is illegal ANYWHERE else.
 

cdmay

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
1,919
Location (City and/or State)
Somewhere in Florida
Madkins007 said:
There is also the Lacey Act, which makes it illegal to own, etc. and animal that is illegal ANYWHERE else.

You know, I'm all for Law and Order and my background is in law enforcement too. But a lot of the Lacey Act cases that I knew of first hand were pretty lame and petty. They were often minor oversights made by basically honest people but still, animals were seized (who knows where they ended up), fines were levied and criminal records were established.
Then again there were cases that were about horrific abuses of the Lacey Act and for those people I have no sympathy.
 

Truffle26

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Austin, Texas
Madkins007 said:
There is also the Lacey Act, which makes it illegal to own, etc. and animal that is illegal ANYWHERE else.

Mark,

So happy to find your web site. I will consult it for info on care of my tortoises.

Sue
 

Truffle26

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Austin, Texas
This thread has been really informative and I've learned a lot about the purview of the various agencies discussed. I'm grateful for a forum like this.

Thanks,

Sue
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top