Vietnam seeks CITES help to protect endangered reptiles

By Hai Minh   February 22, 2019 | 05:55 pm PT
Vietnam seeks CITES help to protect endangered reptiles
Vietnamese Tam Dao salamander. Photo by Shutterstock/reptiles4all
Vietnam has sent six proposals ahead of a CITES meeting, requesting help in saving some reptiles and other endangered species from extinction.

The proposals, sent to the Convention on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) ahead a conference scheduled for May 23 in Sri Lanka, seek support to protect some turtles, salamanders, geckos and toadfishes.

These species are threatened by increasing international trade, which turns them into pets or serves the demand for "exotic" food in Asia.

Vietnam’s proposals aim to promote species conservation and cooperation with other countries struggling with wildlife smuggling.

One proposal seeks to move box turtles, pond turtles and golden box turtles from Appendix II, or species not necessarily threatened with extinction, to Appendix I, species threatened with extinction.

Three other proposals, in which Vietnam joins China and the European Union, suggest that CITES Appendix II should include 13 species of geckos and as many species of toadfishes that have been target species for pet breeding since 1990s.

The species listed in Appendix II are not deemed endangered, but those that may become extinct without proper harvesting.

Trade in these species between countries requires an Export License issued by the CITES Management Authority of the exporting country.

Restaurants serving reptiles and cafes offering reptile petting service are becoming more common in Vietnam.

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