Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Illegal trade on non-native amphibians and reptiles in southeast Brazil: the status of e-commerce.

Abstract

In order to determine the extent of potentially illegal trade, a study of the offerings of non-native amphibians and reptiles currently available through the internet and social media outlets in southeastern Brazil was conducted. Species were surveyed in the social network Orkut from mid-2006 to mid-2012. A total of 17 community forums were accessed to determine the availability of species for sale. The absolute and relative frequencies of non-anonymous dealers selling amphibian and reptile species in 3 cities of southeastern Brazil (Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais state; Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro state; and São Paulo, São Paulo state) were calculated as well as anonymous dealers. The cities studied were the centres of the Brazilian pet trade. 49 non-native species (3 frogs, 2 salamanders, 16 lizards, 26 snakes and 2 turtles) were detected during the 7-year survey period. Corn snakes, milk snakes, central bearded dragons, ball pythons and African clawed frogs comprised the largest percentage of e-commerce trade. 17 species identified in the survey were considered endangered. São Paulo was the city with the greatest demand, and anonymous dealers were the ones that most negotiated animals. The results suggested that a complete ban on pet-traded species via e-commerce would be ineffective. The reasons for a lack of compliance with existing Brazilian law were discussed.