Sunday, March 21, 2010

Internet fuels trade in rare species

The Kaiser's spotted newt is a species with an estimated world population of 1,000 - and annual sales of 200 via Internet sites. The amphibians go for $300 apiece in the pet trade. The 175 nations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, has just banned all traffic in them. The newt is only one of many species which are in greater danger because they can be bought and sold anywhere in the world thanks to the power of the Web. CITES delegates voted down a US-sponsored ban on the export of Atlantic bluefin tuna, the most prized source of sushi in Japan. Delegates adopted voluntary changes to the conservation plans for tigers, which have dropped to some 3,600 in the wild.

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