Study provides valuable insights on underreporting in international wildlife trade

Large portions of the markets for illegal and legal wildlife remain unknown, hampering regulation and conservation efforts.


Expanding the comprehension of the drivers of universal natural life exchange is basic as the unsustainable collecting of untamed life can prompt populace decay and the annihilation of species. While there is as of now a database of legitimate exchange confined species, it depends on the accommodation of yearly reports which can be undermined by feeble local enactment and administration henceforth it is very hard to get an entire photo of the business.

Scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have now built up a few key patterns in untamed life exchange following a top to the bottom investigation on universal natural life exchange information. The discoveries shed light available powers driving the development of natural life items around the world, and demonstrate our comprehension of illicit and lawful untamed life exchange is one-sided towards specific animal groups and districts of the globe.

The discoveries additionally inferred that untamed life exchange systems might be more muddled than already thought, undermining requirement and protection endeavors. Administrative specialists, for example, The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), can use this data to enhance existing protection endeavors and strategies.

Scientists here utilized a novel gravity-underreporting model, through which they carried out a comprehensive analysis and comparison of over 370,000 records of wildlife trade between 2004 and 2013 across three groups – mammals, avian and reptiles.

They found:

  • Illegal products entering the USA come predominantly from Canada, Mexico, and China.
  • Illegal products entering the USA were less likely to be intercepted if they were coming from Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Pacific Island state suggesting the existence of complex trade networks and the potential for the laundering of illegal products through legal markets.
  • Different drivers and markets exist for mammalian, avian and reptilian trade, suggesting a nuanced approach to regulation and monitoring, which accounts for these differences, is required for effective conservation.
  • CITES success depends on products considered, and trade in less well-studied groups such as orchids, timber or corals are likely to be less well regulated by CITES.

Assistant Professor Roman Carrasco from the Department of Biological Sciences said, “Using the insights generated as a guide, regulatory authorities can allot conservation resources more efficiently. The trends we have established in this study highlight the need for regulatory bodies to look beyond the existing databases and take into account the uncertainty surrounding our current understanding of wildlife trade in their conservation efforts. For example, capacity building to improve our ability to regulate and monitor trade in less well-studied species and in countries with higher levels of corruption are essential if we want to prevent trade driven extinctions globally.”

Latest Updates