Laundering of Illegal Wild Fauna in Mexico: Case Study of a Pair of Desert Monitors Varanus griseus griseus (Daudin, 1803)
One of the main wildlife trafficking strategies in Mexico is the laundering of illegal specimens in the legal pet market. The persistence of laundering is a significant operational failure of the wildlife management authorities that enforce laws, rules, and regulations. To illustrate this we examine a particular case of laundering of specimens of Varanus griseus griseus (desert monitor), a non-native Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I species, which is highly endangered in its range (North Africa and Middle East) by the substantial reduction of its habitat and due to the capture of specimens for the black market. Mexico’s current regulatory framework for trade and exploitation of wildlife cannot be effective if the operation of the institutions responsible for enforcing such laws fails to address laundering.
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