National illegal wildlife trafficking of threatened species: a descriptive study in Manabí (Ecuador)

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Sofía Crespo-Gascón
Carlos Solórzano
José Guerrero-Casado


Illegal wildlife trafficking has negative effects on biodiversity conservation at both global and local scale. Therefore, the establishment of appropriate conservation measures requires local studies that quantify this problem. The objective of this work was to quantify and characterize the species of birds and mammals seized in the period 2016-2017, at the Valle Alto Wildlife Rescue Centre and Wildlife Refuge. The study showed that 212 specimens belonging to 41 different species were confiscated. More birds than mammals were confiscated, and a greater proportion of birds were included in a national and international threat category. A clear preference for primates, parrots and squirrels was found. Furthermore, the presence of species with a distribution range outside the study area revealed the existence of the transportation of species from other parts of the country. Although these data are only a sample of what is actually trafficked in the country, they provide an approach of the type of species that are illegally trafficked in this biodiversity hotspot.
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