tens of thousands across Thailand’s borders every year:

Southeast Asia: Illegal trade in threatened and rare orchids

A thriving and illegal trade in Southeast Asia’s threatened and rare orchids is going largely unnoticed in Thailand and across its borders, says a joint study by TRAFFIC and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Conservative trade figures documented during the study suggest that tens of thousands of orchids are illegally traded across Thailand’s borders every year without either domestic harvest permits or Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permits, violating range State and international restrictions on wild orchid harvest.

Surveys during 2011–2012 in four of the largest wild plant markets in Thailand and at the country’s borders with Myanmar and Lao PDR recorded 348 species of orchid for sale, representing 13 to 22 percent of the target countries’ known orchid flora.

The survey even found species from the genus Paphiopedilum, all of which are listed in Appendix I of CITES, which bans the international trade of wild-collected specimens.

At least 16 percent of the orchid species observed could be classified under some category of threat or were species found only in small or specific areas. Several of the orchids first found in the markets were new to science.

Read the rest of this article at TRAFFIC

For more information:
Dr Chris R. Shepherd, Regional Director
Tel: 03-7880 3940
Email: chris.shepherd@traffic.org

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