Research and in situ conservation of owl monkeys enhances environmental law enforcement at the Colombian-Peruvian border

Maldonado, Angela M and Peck, Mika R (2014) Research and in situ conservation of owl monkeys enhances environmental law enforcement at the Colombian-Peruvian border. American Journal of Primatology, 76 (7). pp. 658-669. ISSN 0275-2565

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Abstract

This study reports on impacts of illegal trade in owl monkeys (Aotus nancymaae, A. vociferans) for the biomedical research market in the Colombian-Peruvian Amazonian border. Through freedom of information requests and interviews with hunters we found that 912 owl monkeys, including A. nancymaae captured in Peru, were trapped over a 3-month period in 2012 to supply a malaria research facility based in Leticia, Colombia, which had trapping permits for the use of only 800 A. vociferans annually yet experimentation took place using A. nancymaae. High levels of extraction in Peru have had population-level impacts with significantly lower densities of Aotus spp. (3-24individuals/km2) compared to Colombian sites with low hunting pressure (26-44individuals/km2). Post-experimental release of this species in Colombian territory has created a new distribution whose status and impacts on resident populations of A. vociferans remain unknown. The trapping method has also had environmental impact, with loss of over 65,000 trees (including sleeping sites), annually. As Aotus species are registered under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II, international trade requires official permission and evidence that extraction does not impact wild populations. However, no official records exist and CITES legislation has failed, due principally to a lack of appropriate monitoring by national authorities responsible for compliance. Of further concern is that we had previously documented and reported the illegal trade to the appropriate governmental authorities yet still no action was taken-as demonstrated by the continuing trade in 2013. Enforcement eventually occurred when a non-governmental organization initiated legal action against organizations responsible. A successful second instance ruling by the Colombian State's Council in 2013 revoked trapping permits. Using the trade in owl monkeys as a case study we consider implementation, compliance, and enforcement of CITES in the border area to identify mechanisms to improve enforcement of environmental legislation. Am. J. Primatol. 76:658-669, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biology and Environmental Science
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology > QH0540 Ecology
Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0001 General Including geographical distribution
Depositing User: Mika Peck
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2015 15:27
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2017 01:14
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/58726

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