Our January issue’s special section on wildlife trade spans six countries and covers trade in amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and fungi. The eight articles demonstrate the breadth of research being carried out on this topic and highlight the importance of the domestic wildlife trade. In the lead article, Tasse Taboue et al. provide insights into local perceptions, hunting & export of the Goliath frog, an iconic but Endangered species threatened by overexploitation in Cameroon. In the editorial, Melissa Arias et al. discuss the role of domestic wildlife markets in the illegal wildlife trade.

The issue also includes a host of Conservation News items and book reviews! Find out more about this issue’s content, including our Editor’s picks, below.

Three bird species commonly seized from the bird trade, from left to right: a rose-ringed parakeet, an African grey parrot and a hyacinth macaw. Photos: Charles J. Sharp/Wikimedia (left) and Tambako the Jaguar/Flickr (middle and right). Find out more in Poonia et al.’s blog.

Wildlife trade

  • Local perceptions, hunting and export of the Endangered Goliath frog Conraua goliath in Cameroon – Tasse Taboue et al.
  • Going over the wall: insights into the illegal production of jaguar products in a Bolivian prison – Elwin et al.
  • A systematic survey of online trade in the caterpillar fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensisBashyal & Roberts
  • Mapping the Ophiocordyceps sinensis value chain: actors, profits and institutions in south-west China – Fan & He
  • A systematic survey of the online trade in elephant ivory in Singapore before and after a domestic trade ban – Yeo et al.
  • Exploring market-based wildlife trade dynamics in Bangladesh – Uddin et al.
  • Insights from the media into the bird trade in India: an analysis of reported seizures – Kalra et al. (blog here)
  • From pets to plates: network analysis of trafficking in tortoises and freshwater turtles representing different types of demand – Ramya Roopa et al.
African elephant and findings from study of Singapore domestic trade ban in ivory.

Yeo et al. found a decline in the number of possible elephant ivory products listed online in Singapore following a domestic trade ban. Their findings can inform future efforts to develop automated detection methods for elephant ivory in online markets. Photo: Emma Sinnett.

Behind the cover

Studies of the illegal wildlife trade often focus on high-value charismatic species traded internationally such as large mammals and colourful birds. Yet trade involves a wide diversity of organisms, including taxa such as the Goliath frog (cover image) and the caterpillar fungus that are important in domestic markets. A complex web of cultures, practices and needs fuel the domestic wildlife trade, the impacts of which we have yet to fully grasp. (Photograph ©Cyril Ruoso/NaturePL).

Goliath frog Conraua goliath by Cyril Ruoso / NaturePL.

A Goliath frog Conraua goliath. Photo: Cyril Ruoso / NaturePL.

Editorial

Local impact, global challenge: the role of domestic wildlife markets in the illegal wildlife tradeArias, Sackey & Bashyal

The illegal wildlife trade often conjures up thoughts of large charismatic mammals, armed poachers and international crime syndicates. In the January editorial, Arias et al. focus instead on the role of domestic wildlife markets in the illegal wildlife trade. Domestic wildlife markets in source countries have received less research and conservation attention, but their impact is significant.

‘Although domestic markets may not always resemble the organized, sophisticated, criminal networks of international wildlife trade, they involve many actors and methods, and can permeate beyond national confines.’

Ramya Roopa et al. used media-reported seizure data to compare the supply networks of tortoises and hard-shell turtles in demand for the pet trade vs soft-shell turtles in demand for the meat trade. They found that the pet trade network involved a large number of international connections and geographically complex routes, while the meat trade was largely domestic with more straight-forward routes. Photo: Benny Trapp / Adobe Stock.

Editor’s picks

  1. Local impact, global challenge: the role of domestic wildlife markets in the illegal wildlife trade – Arias, Sackey & Bashyal
  2. Going over the wall: insights into the illegal production of jaguar products in a Bolivian prison – Elwin et al.
  3. Finance and biodiversity conservation: insights from rhinoceros conservation and the first wildlife conservation bond – Medina & Scales
  4. A tale of two species: the importance of native ecosystems for long-term conservation on Príncipe Island, Gulf of Guinea – Rebelo et al.
Elwin et al. provide new insights into the illegal trade of jaguar parts in a prison in Bolivia, where jaguar & other wild animal products are being crafted into goods such as wallets, hats & purses, to then be sold at local markets. Photos: World Animal Protection. 

Elwin et al. provide new insights into the illegal trade of jaguar parts in a prison in Bolivia, where jaguar & other wild animal products are being crafted into goods such as wallets, hats & purses, to then be sold at local markets. Photos: World Animal Protection.

Other content

  • Status of vertebrate species in Danial Cave, northern Iran – Ghelich Khani et al.
  • Habitat destruction threatens jaguars in a mixed land-use region of eastern Bolivia – Meißner et al.
  • Photographic evidence suggests habitat overlap and co-occurrence of tigers and snow leopards in Jigme Dorji National Park, Bhutan – Dendup & Lham
  • African Forest elephants persist in Guinea-Bissau but require an emergency conservation plan – Palma et al.
Dendup & Lahm report the first photographic evidence of tigers & snow leopards co-occurring, corroborating previous reports of tigers in presumed snow leopard habitat in Bhutan, and confirming habitat overlap of the 2 species

Dendup & Lahm report the first photographic evidence of tigers & snow leopards co-occurring, corroborating previous reports of tigers in presumed snow leopard habitat in Bhutan, and confirming habitat overlap of the two species.

Conservation news

  • Promoting conservation of fireflies in Kuala Lumpur’s urban park through experiential learning – Muharraran et al.
  • Highlighting the importance of IUCN SSC Specialist Groups at the International Mammalogical Congress – Kennerley et al.
  • Revolutionizing Tropical Peatland Restoration in Indonesia: The 4N Eco-Friendly Approach – Adinugroho et al.
  • First international training course on conservation of plant species with extremely small populations – Yang et al.
  • The slipper orchid Paphiopedilum gratrixianum requires urgent priority conservation in Yunnan, China – Cai et al.
  • Finding Pedicularis fastigiata, a long-lost critically endangered plant species of China – Li & Yu
  • Rescuing a very rare monotypic Aetoxylon sympetalum from remnant forests of Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan – Kusumadewi et al.
  • Endemic crabs from ancient lakes of Sulawesi under double threat – Rejlkova & Iqram
  • First camera trap record of caracal twin kittens in Saudi Arabia – Hikmani et al.

The slipper orchid Paphiopedilum gratrixianum requires urgent priority conservation in Yunnan, China: See Cai et al.‘s Conservation News.

Book reviews

Finally, discover our virtual issue on wildlife trade, featuring additional articles published in Oryx over the years.

Header image credit: World Animal Protection.



Emma joined the Oryx team in 2022 after completing an MSc in wildlife conservation. She is particularly interested in African wildlife and the wildlife trade, and carried out her MSc research on the impact of wild meat hunting on duiker populations in Central Africa. Prior to her MSc, Emma worked in finance before volunteering at conservation organizations and training as a field guide in South Africa.