Turtles and see-through frogs on the agenda for the Wildlife Summit

Turtles and see-through frogs on the agenda for the Wildlife Summit


A global wildlife summit in Panama will decide whether to take action to protect the translucent glass frog and 12 species of freshwater turtles in its final week, which began Monday.

Conservation experts and delegates from more than 180 nations began the week with a decision to ban the white rhino horn trade, despite a bid from Eswatini backed by Japan and several other African countries.

The tiny nation formerly known as Swaziland had argued that the money from the sale of rhino horn would help conserve the endangered species.

Delegates met on Monday last week to discuss 52 proposals to change the levels of protection set out by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

In the coming days, the fate of several unique amphibians will be up for debate.

“Freshwater turtles are one of the main groups that are traded in countries and there is a lot of pressure for international trade,” said Yovana Murillo, who leads an anti-wildlife trade program for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru want to add two species of Matamata tortoises living in the Amazon and Orinoco basins to CITES Appendix II, which requires tracking and regulating the trade.

Doris Rodrigues of the Peruvian Forest Service told AFP that the distinctive Matamata tortoises, with their beetle-like appearance, have become prized pets and “face many threats.”

These include habitat destruction, pollution, illegal trade and hunting for meat and eggs.

– glass frog –

Delegates will also discuss regulating trade in the nocturnal glass frog, found in several rainforests in Central and South America.

The amphibian is an increasingly popular pet. Some are light green in color while others have translucent bellies and chests.

“They are collected for their beauty. They are being traded and some are in critical danger,” Rodriguez said.

CITES, in force since 1975, regulates trade in around 36,000 plant and animal species and provides mechanisms to combat illegal trade. It sanctions countries that break the rules.

The Meeting of the Parties to the Convention takes place every two to three years.

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