Tortoise trade in Morocco

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Tortoise trade in Morocco

Postby leroy1713 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:05 pm

Hi,

I posted on this discussion board some time ago when I was planning fieldwork in Morocco to look at wildlife trade in markets and received some good advice. I found the numbers of Testudo graeca to be quite high especially if, as I suspect, this is a year-round trade. I have just published a paper on general wildlife trade in Morocco and I am now writing one on reptiles with a focus on the spur-thighed tortoise but I thought I'd link to my general findings as they might be of interest to some people here.

Here is a link to the paper https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... os_Markets
Just click 'View' on the right-hand side of the page.

All the best,

Daniel
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Re: Tortoise trade in Morocco

Postby Tortoise Trust » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:27 pm

Thanks, Daniel.

Interesting, and rather depressing. It does appear that the number of 'tortoise banjos' has decreased, however.... whether this is the result of lack of demand or the increased difficulty in finding animals large enough is difficult to assess. Did you see many live tortoise specimens being sold? Certainly when we were there, this was a huge problem. Tended to be worse in the spring when tortoises are most active.

Good work. Hopefully increased scrutiny may result in some improvements....

And Highfield.
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Re: Tortoise trade in Morocco

Postby leroy1713 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:51 am

Hi Andy,

Sorry, I hadn't seen your response until recently.
Thank you very much for your interest; it is indeed rather depressing. Hopefully we can bring it to the attention of the authorities in Morocco and, especially with the new laws in place, something can be done! We saw over 1,600 live tortoises for sale in the first survey and certainly a significant portion had medium-to-large carapaces. It was because of these relatively high numbers of potentially-available carapaces that were not being turned into banjos that we suggested that there might be a reduction in demand but I certainly agree that they appear to be getting fewer and indeed smaller in the markets.

That's interesting about the peak in spring. I haven't as yet managed a survey in the winter but I'm hoping to conduct one soon to see the difference in numbers.

All the best,

Daniel
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Re: Tortoise trade in Morocco

Postby Tortoise Trust » Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:29 pm

leroy1713 wrote:Hi Andy,

Sorry, I hadn't seen your response until recently.
Thank you very much for your interest; it is indeed rather depressing. Hopefully we can bring it to the attention of the authorities in Morocco and, especially with the new laws in place, something can be done! We saw over 1,600 live tortoises for sale in the first survey and certainly a significant portion had medium-to-large carapaces.


That is insane... even worse than anything I ever saw there in the 3 years or so we worked there.

As you know, having laws in place is one thing, but getting them enforced quite another. It is very easy for people to "buy off" the police there.. they come pretty cheap, too.
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