International Trade Status and Crisis for Snake Species in China.
Conservation Biology 18 (5): 1386-1394
In recent years, the purchase of snakes for leather, food, and traditional medicine has increased in China, which has greatly reduced certain snake populations. Trade records show that since the 1990s, with respect to some species of snakes, China is changing from a net export country to a net import country. We analyzed data on international trade in snake species, concentrating, in particular, on trade dynamics and species composition. The overall number of snakes exported appears to have decreased in the last 10 years. However, the number of snakes imported during this period has increased steadily. Many species of snakes that are traded in significant numbers are endangered or threatened species. To conserve snakes in China, we recommended that the Chinese government and the international conservation community take the following actions: enhance legislation and list several species in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) appendices; register all snake farms in China; carry out population and market surveys; monitor the dynamics of trade; encourage biological research; encourage change in food habits; and enhance cooperation between Hong Kong and mainland China.