Online trade is recognized as one of the major wildlife conservation challenges of present times, but its ability to facilitate biological invasions seems to be often overlooked. In New Zealand, online trading poses a biosecurity risk associated with the importation of unwanted flora and fauna into the country, as well as the spread of undesirable organisms within internal borders. We provide a number of examples to highlight the importance of this issue. There is no simple solution for this problem; it not only requires vigilance and quick action by the appropriate authorities, but it is also necessary to raise awareness by educating the public (both selling and buying species) and liaising with those in charge of online trading sites.
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Thanks to Abi Loughnan and Sonya Bissmire (MAFBNZ) for assistance and input.
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Derraik, J.G.B., Phillips, S. Online trade poses a threat to biosecurity in New Zealand. Biol Invasions 12, 1477–1480 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-009-9595-0