Press Officer

First name Last Name Adam M. Roberts

For Immediate Release:

21 Mar 2010

CITES Parties Protect Frogs from Unfettered Pet Trade

(Doha)—The Species Survival Network congratulated CITES delegates in Doha for taking their first actions to add species to the CITES Appendices today when they considered the plight of five species of tree frogs threatened by the pet trade.

Central American tree frogs—including the famous red-eyed tree frog—are headed for CITES Appendix II thanks to a vote taken at today’s CITES meeting. The proposal to list five similar species of tree frogs in the genus Agalychnis, submitted by Honduras and Mexico, was supported by all ten range States where the species exist.

“These beautiful jewels of the neo-tropical forest are snatched from the wild in huge numbers,” said Alejandra Goyenechea, international counsel for Defenders of Wildlife and Chair of the Species Survival Network Amphibian Working Group. “Listing on CITES Appendix II will help ensure that, from now on, this trade does not threaten the viability of wild populations and that the frogs are shipped under humane conditions.”

Tree frogs are threatened by over-collection for the international pet trade. The United States, for instance, imports more than 20,000 annually.

One of the traded species—the black-eyed tree frog—is critically endangered having suffered an 80 percent population decline over the past ten years; another—the golden-eyed tree frog—is endangered having suffered a 50 percent population decline over the same period. Red-eyed tree frog populations are also in decline. Individual frogs can command as much as $150 each.