May 30, 2023

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Quotes: Glass Frogs are worth and what they mean globally

Hipapress-Rabat-Journal Release

Sometimes there are rare species that surprise by their nature, their type and their price in everyday life

Today, international leaders agreed to strengthen protections for glass frogs (Centrolenidae) at the 19th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (COP19) in a decisive step to curb the rapid growth of the global trade in exotic pets. Wild Animals and Plants (CITES).

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) welcomes the decision

Currently, about 50% of the glass frog species assessed by the IUCN Red List are threatened with extinction, with 10 species listed as Critically Endangered, 28 critically endangered and 21 in the “vulnerable” category.

Head of EU Policy and Campaigns for IFAW Mr. Ilaria Di Silvestre recently said: “Already under environmental pressure from habitat loss, climate change and disease, unmanaged trade and growing glass frogs are increasing the threats to the species. To avoid the many threats they already face, this trade must be regulated and limited to sustainable levels. ยป

A proposal to list all glass frog species on Appendix II of CITES was submitted by the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador, United States, Gabon, Guinea, Niger, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Togo.

Hidden mirror frogs are increasingly popular in the international pet trade as animal exports from Central America to Europe. Based on trade data from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Law Enforcement Management Information System (LEMIS) and analysis of online advertisements, more than nine glass frog species are currently in international trade. Due to species diversity and/or the difficulty of qualifying as a “non-CITES amphibian”, the actual number is almost certainly higher.

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Between 2016 and 2021, US import records show that glass frog imports have increased 440-fold. So a large number of them may be under threat.

Glass frogs at the heart of the wildlife trade

Since it is almost impossible to distinguish glass frog species visually, listing at the family level is proposed. Not only does this make implementation easier for governments with fewer resources, it also avoids trade shifting from listed to non-listed species (for example, like the hammerhead sharks that were fortunately observed during this COP).

This CITES Appendix II listing will allow for increased data collection on trade in mirror frog species. It is an essential building block for better understanding global demand and trade networks. This proposal was adopted unanimously.