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For Immediate Release:

5 Jun 2007

EU ignores science, supports leopard trophy export quotas

The Hague, The Netherlands—A United Nations meeting today supported proposals to establish or increase leopard trophy export quotas for two African nations. The delegates to the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) approved a proposal by Uganda to export 28 leopard trophies annually, and by Mozambique to increase their quota of 60 to 120 leopard trophies annually.

Germany, speaking on behalf of the European Union, supported both proposals while at the same time acknowledging that the two countries had no current population data and that the most recent figures were from 1988. Inexplicably, they said that the quota was nonetheless conservative.

“CITES requires export quotas to be science-based,” said Dr. Teresa Telecky, Director of the Wildlife Trade Program for Humane Society International and Chair of the Trophy Hunting Working Group of the SSN. “The EU ignored the lack of a credible scientific basis in supporting these proposals.”

Experts consider the wild leopard population to be declining in the wild although the actual number of leopards is unknown. A continent wide census has never been conducted and neither Mozambique nor Namibia had any recent data on population sizes. Even the older data they used in support of their proposals were based on indirect counts using rainfall and available habitat to estimate numbers: these methodologies are known to grossly over-estimate leopard populations.

“The agreement to set leopard export quotas arbitrarily and without a requiring a scientific basis for them undermines the credibility of the Convention and endangers wild populations,” said Dr. Telecky.

For more information contact:

Adam M. Roberts, Press Officer,
In The Hague: 06-5213 6798
Globally: 1-202-445-3572

10, Churchillplein NL-2508 THE HAGUE