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F. Henkler, A. Luch (2015)Safety regulations: More extensive tests for e-cigarettes
(1997)Megadiversity: Earth's biologically wealthiest nations. CEMEX
Zhao-Min Zhou, Youbing Zhou, C. Newman, D. Macdonald (2014)Scaling up pangolin protection in China
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 12
Z.‐M. Zhou, C. Newman, C.D. Buesching, X. Meng, D.W. Macdonald, Y. Zhou (2015)Outdated listing puts species at risk
J. Honacki, K. Kinman, J. Koeppl (1982)Mammal species of the world : a taxonomic and geographic reference
Copyright and Photocopying: C 2016 The Authors
CITES species+; taxonomy; illegal wildlife trade; Due to revised phylogenies and newly discovered biogeographic distribu- wildlife law enforcement. tions, scientiﬁc binomials are being amended continuously. Problematic is that Correspondence wildlife protection legislation tends not to keep pace with these reappraisals, Youbing Zhou, State Key Laboratory of creating a wide range of legislative loopholes and potentially compromising Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute ability to prosecute illegal wildlife trade (IWT). This serious and growing inter- of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.20 national problem proves particularly challenging in China because binomials Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing, China 100093. used on China’s national legislation have not been updated since 1989, along- Tel: +86-10-6283-6183; fax: +86-10-6283-6284. side the enormous issues of IWT in this megadiverse nation. Here, we focus E-mail: email@example.com especially on mammals, because these support lucrative criminal markets and Received receive the greatest international policing efforts; however, all protected taxa 5 July 2016 are vulnerable to this misnaming ambiguity. To date, the names of 25 threat- Accepted ened species, including 18 mammals, have become incongruent with Chinese 6 August 2016 law. Additionally, two primate species, newly discovered within China, have not yet been incorporated into Chinese law. A further six mammalian species are known by different synonyms between Chinese law and CITES, hinder- doi: 10.1111/conl.12289 ing international policing and compilation of data on IWT. Taxonomic revi- sions similarly undermine legislation in other megadiverse countries; posing a critical risk to wildlife protection worldwide. We recommend that scien- tiﬁc binomials must be updated systematically across all 181 CITES signatory nations. “What’s in a name?” To prevent prosecutions being dis- China’s List of Fauna under Special State Protection missed or acquitted inappropriately, it is essential that (LFSSP, 1989) has not been updated since it was im- fauna and ﬂora vulnerable to wildlife crime can be identi- plemented in 1989. Consequently, the taxonomic names ﬁed clearly and unequivocally by a legally binding name, of 18 of 232 vertebrate taxa (including 13/82 mam- recognized by both national laws and international con- mals) no longer concord with Species+ (http://www. ventions. Changes to taxonomic binomials (generic and speciesplus.net/, a database deﬁning the legal names, pro- speciﬁc), arising through newly discovered geographi- tection status, and distributions of all CITES Appendix cal distributions and phylogenetic relationships therefore species; Appendix S1, Table S1), with ramiﬁcations necessitate corresponding updates to protective legisla- jeopardizing the effective prosecution of wildlife crime tion (Zhou et al. 2015). In developing countries, such globally. as China, failure to amend legislation risks legal am- A further complication is whether species are— biguity, threatening ability to prosecute illegal wildlife legally—considered native or exotic. Twenty-one verte- trade. brate species (18 mammals) that do not appear on China’s Conservation Letters, September/October 2016, 9(5), 313–315 Copyright and Photocopying: 2016 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 313 This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Updating wildlife names in legislation Z.-M. Zhou et al. LFSSP are now considered native to China according to because these new generic names do not appear on the Species+ (Table S2), arising from the discovery of new LFSSP, leaf monkeys are now completely devoid of any population distributions and phylogenetic relationships. formal protected status in China. For instance, currently only the Chinese pangolin Despite these anachronisms, lawyers and courts in (Manis pentadactyla) is listed as native on China’s LFSSP, China are currently still managing to secure prosecutions with other exotic pangolin species receiving protection under the LFSSP, and can apply a maximum penalty of under CITES Appendix II. However, taxonomists now 20 years’ imprisonment for trafﬁcking or hunting these propose that Malayan (M. javanica) and Indian (M. threatened species within China (compared to life impris- crassicaudata) pangolins are actually native to China— onment for smuggling across borders). Of concern, how- with population distributions corroborated by Species+. ever, is that criminal cartels perpetrating wildlife crime This reappraisal of the geographic status of these pan- are becoming aware that prosecutions under outdated golins means that if they are conﬁscated within China LFSSP names are no longer robust. New litigants will their trade can no longer be claimed to be implicitly inter- likely soon succeed in creating uncertainty, and sufﬁ- national and in automatic violation of CITES Appendix cient “reasonable doubt” to evade prosecution; also lead- II, unless being trafﬁcked unequivocally across China’s ing those convicted to appeal their sentences. borders. Therefore, unless China adds these pangolin Indeed, China lags behind its neighbors: Vietnam’s List species to its LFSSP as natives, trade in M. javanica and M. of Rare and Precious Plant and Animal Species was last crassicuadata will inevitably become completely unre- updated in 2006; Schedule VII to India’s Wildlife (Protec- stricted and “legal” in China; although this defense has tion) Amendment Act was updated in 2013. Worryingly, yet to be used in a Chinese court (Zhou et al. 2014). A among the 17 megadiverse countries (Mittermeier 1997), similar situation exists for the Burmese Python, where only ﬁve have updated their protected species lists since only Python molurus is listed on the LFSSP, but Python bivit- 2007 (Table S3). Even among countries that apply a more tatus is also now recorded as native to China by Species+. rigorous and frequent review of species names used in A related problem involves name inconsistencies. For wildlife legislation, involving recommendations from tax- instance, the Chinese goral (a goat-like ungulate), is onomists and biogeographers, national conservation laws listed on the LFSSP under the name “Naemorhedus goral,” are continually outpaced by taxonomic revisions, and be- which Wilson & Reeder (2005) split into three species; come inconsistent internationally. the Himalayan goral (N. goral) in southern Tibet (still This was illustrated by a high-proﬁle case, costing mil- protected under the LFSSP), the Long-tailed goral (N. lions of dollars in attorney fees, involving a type of caudatus) in the northeast of China, and the Chinese wild sheep, the Chinese argali (Ovis ammon). When on goral (N. griseus) throughout the rest of China; where April 16, 1988, U.S. authorities apprehended hunters at this latter pair are currently not named on the LFSSP. San Francisco Airport returning from Qinghai Province Instances where a subspecies native to China has be- carrying valuable argali trophies, it proved taxonomi- come elevated to full species status complicate this issue cally ambiguous to decide if these were other native further, where the new scientiﬁc name must be added to Chinese subspecies or actually the Tibetan argali (O. a. the LFSSP to ensure ongoing protection. For example, the hodgsoni) subspecies, listed under the Endangered Species LFSSP still lists just the obsolete Chinese mainland serow Act. (another goat-like ungulate), as Capricornis sumatraensis, Although we focus here on vertebrates—and on mam- despite in 2005 this species having been split taxonomi- mals in particular because they are focal to concerns over cally into the Chinese serow (C. milneedwardsii) and the cruelty—this issue of reappraising taxonomic status has Sumatran serow (C. sumatraensis), which is indigenous obvious conservation application to all species. We ad- to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand (Wilson & Reeder vocate that all 181 signatory nations to CITES adopt a 2005), and thus subject to CITES. standardized and coherent naming policy across their na- Revisions to genus classiﬁcation also have broad tional protected lists, mirroring the up-to-date taxonomic implications when the abbreviation “spp.” is used to classiﬁcation of globally protected species provided by denote all species in a genus. For instance, the LFSSP Species+. We also note similar anomalies in taxonomic includes all leaf monkeys in China under the generic names between CITES and the Convention on the Con- name of “Presbytis spp.,” provided with the highest legal servation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals and those protection. However, in 2005, Chinese leaf monkeys given on the IUCN Red List (Table S4). It is thus crucial were reassigned into two genera: Trachypithecus and to reach an international consensus to redress legal am- Semnopithecus. Those retaining the generic name Presbytis biguities within nations and to alleviate transborder in- spp. now occur only outside China, in other Southeast consistencies afﬂicting international wildlife enforcement Asian countries (Wilson & Reeder 2005). Alarmingly, agencies. 314 Conservation Letters, September/October 2016, 9(5), 313–315 Copyright and Photocopying: 2016 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Z.-M. Zhou et al. Updating wildlife names in legislation Table S4. Examples of anomalies in taxonomic names Supporting Information between CITES and the IUCN Red List. Additional Supporting Information may be found in the online version of this article at the publisher’s web site: References Appendix S1. China’s legislative framework and the Mittermeier, R.A. (1997) Megadiversity: Earth’s biologically Species+ database. wealthiest nations. CEMEX, Mexico City, Mexico. Figure S1. The cascade of legal jurisdiction and Wilson, D.E. & Reeder, D.M. (2005) Mammal species of the penalties for wild animal crime within Chinese bor- world, a taxonomic and geographic reference. The Johns ders in relation to the species’ taxonomic name and Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. distribution. Zhou, Z.-M., Zhou, Y., Newman, C. & Macdonald, D.W. Table S1. Name inconsistencies between LFSSP and (2014) Scaling up pangolin protection in China. Front. Ecol. Species+. Environ., 12, 97-98. Table S2. Candidates for addition to China’s LFSSP . Zhou, Z.-M., Newman, C., Buesching, C.D., Meng, X., Table S3. Year in which latest revision of wildlife leg- Macdonald, D.W. & Zhou Y. (2015) Outdated listing puts islation was made among megadiverse countries. species at risk. Nature, 525, 187. Conservation Letters, September/October 2016, 9(5), 313–315 Copyright and Photocopying: 2016 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 315
Conservation Letters – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 2016
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