Assessment of current trade of exotic pets on the internet in China.
In order to investigate the trade of exotic pets in China, two 6-week surveys were conducted separately in 2018 and 2019 to analyze the type, volume, and price for sale of exotic pets on four online platforms (Pachongwang app, Zhuanzhuan app, Wechat and Huicongwang). A total of 111 exotic species were recorded across 4 classes, 8 orders, 44 families, and 94 genera-including 94 species (84%, n = 111) in Reptilia, 12 species (11%) in Amphibia, 3 species (3%) in Aves, and 2 species (2%) in Mammalia. Twenty-seven species of exotic pets (24%) were listed as threatened species by IUCN Red List and 45 species (41%) were listed in the CITES Appendix. The number of trade events for 77% of species were fewer than six during the survey. Prices of 58% of species were lower than 1,000 yuan per individual. We propose reforms to the current regulation of the online animal and exotic pet trade given the concerning findings of this study.