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Amphibians in pet trade win protections at CITES meeting

Defenders of Wildlife celebrates this much needed action

(03/22/2010) -


  • CITES delegates in Doha took action to safeguard five species of tree frogs and an Iranian salamander threatened by international trade, by listing them under CITES Appendices
  • The proposal to safeguard five similar species of tree frogs in the genus Agalychnis (including the famous red-eyed tree frog) was submitted by Honduras and Mexico and was supported by all ten range States where the species exist
  • These frogs are snatched from the wild in large quantities for the pet trade, where individual frogs can fetch as much as $150 each
  • The other species to win protections is the Iranian salamander (Neurergus kaiseri) which is severely threatened and was likely to become extinct due to international trade for the pet industry

DOHA, Qatar (March 22, 2010) – Five frog species and an Iranian salamander will be protected from unsustainable international trade thanks to a decision by the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Defenders of Wildlife worked for years to help achieve this remarkable conservation victory, with Defenders’ international counsel Alejandra Goyenechea chairing the Species Survival Network Amphibian Working Group. Below is a statement by Goyenechea:

“This is an amazing victory for both conservation and international cooperation. Without the actions taken this week, several of these species of amphibians would be at dire risk for extinction due to the international pet trade.

“It is heartening to see that environmental concern over our treasured imperiled wildlife can create some common ground for the United States and Iran. This is a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing CITES conference with votes going against critical conservation issues such as the protection of bluefin tuna, corals and polar bears.”


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.  With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come.  For more information, visit www.defenders.org.

Learn more about Defenders’ work in international wildlife trade issues

Alejandra Goyenechea, International Counsel for Defenders of Wildlife, agoyenechea@defenders.org

Erin McCallum, 202-772-3217, emccallum@defenders.org



Erin McCallum, (202) 772-3217