Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 931–952 | Cite as

Mexico in the International Reptile Skin Trade: a Case Study

  • Inés Arroyo-Quiroz
  • Ramón Pérez-Gil
  • Nigel Leader-Williams
Original Paper


This paper examines the role of Mexico as importer, manufacturer, producer and distributor centre of reptile skins from non-native and native species, through a combination of documentary research and survey methods. A number of key findings were derived from this study. Although Mexico has adopted the “System for the Conservation, Management and Sustainable Use of Wildlife” (SUMA), the country still relies on reptile skins from non-native species. In contrast, the smaller numbers of skins used from native species mainly derive from captive breeding schemes that although biologically sustainable, provide no incentive for habitat conservation. Sustainable use of reptile skins from native species could positively encourage conservation in Mexico. However, as a megadiverse country with potential to produce wildlife, Mexico will have to implement an appropriate regulatory framework to support local communities to promote the sustainable use of native species.

Key words

Conservation Mexico Reptile skin Sustainable use Wildlife trade 


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The authors thank TRAFFIC and UNEP-WCMC for the supply of data. Special thanks to Simon Habel, Craig Hoover and John Caldwell for all their support. Gratitude is also extended to all staff of institutions and private individuals who were welcoming and supportive. In particular, the Attorney General for Protection of the Environment (PROFEPA) in Mexico for providing access to custom offices. Special thanks are due to José Bernal, Silvia Philippe, Luis Domenzain, Carlos Contreras, Guadalupe Ávila, Lilia Mondragón, and Uhry Adib.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inés Arroyo-Quiroz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ramón Pérez-Gil
    • 2
  • Nigel Leader-Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, Department of AnthropologyUniversity of KentCanterburyUK
  2. 2.FAUNAM ACMéxicoMéxico

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