The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 05. Longitudinal monitoring of turtle trade through Facebook in Vietnam

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https://doi.org/10.33256/hj29.1.4856

pp. 48-56

Authors: Thong Pham Van, Vinh Quang Luu, Thinh Vu Tien, Benjamin Leprince, Linh Tran Thi Khanh & Luca Luiselli

Abstract: Trade of turtles, for both food and pet, represents a substantial business in Vietnam, especially because this country is a
cross-bridge for wildlife trade from Indochina to China. Vietnam is also one of the main countries worldwide in terms of the number of Facebook members, and a considerable portion of the business has gone online through Facebook trading, including turtle trade. Here, the advertisements of turtles for sale in Vietnamese Facebook groups were monitored for the period 2013-2018, obtaining a total of 481 advertisement cases concerning 5,758 individuals belonging to 53 species and 12 families. There has been a rapidly rising trade of turtles online, especially in the last two years. Many traded species were allochthonous, but native species accounted for 22 species and over 36 % of the traded individuals. Most allochthonous species were traded as hatchlings and juveniles, whereas most of the native species were traded as subadults and adults, thus suggesting a high frequency of illegal trade in wild caught animals. Five traded native species are considered among the 50 most threatened turtle species in the world. Turtle trade occurred mostly in the two biggest cites of Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi), which accounted for 68 % of the total trade. Turtle price varied substantially across species and by different lifestages (i.e. hatchlings, juveniles, sub-adults and adults), and increased considerably in comparison to 1993 estimates.

Key words: turtle trade, Facebook, Asia, Vietnam

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