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Chris R Shepherd

Chris R Shepherd

PhD
Publishing information to inform policy change, to support enforcement efforts and to catalyse conservation action.

About

185
Publications
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Introduction
I am the Executive Director of Monitor Conservation Research Society (Monitor), working on wildlife trade issues, especially on the trade in live birds, live reptiles and amphibians, bear bile, and other poorly known wildlife trade related issues. *Follow me on Twitter at: @Cshepherd7R for wildlife trade news, new publications and more. *Follow me on linkedin at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-r-shepherd-b4b029203/?originalSubdomain=ca *Check out our website at: mcrsociety.org

Publications

Publications (185)
Article
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In this article we report on observations of online trade in Critically Endangered Grey-backed Mynas (Acridotheres tricolor) from Baluran Nation Park, East Java, Indonesia. Between 19 and 24 different "locally poached" individuals of the species were recorded for trade on social media between April 2020 and March 2021. Considering the precarious co...
Article
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CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, is an international agreement among currently 183 Parties. It is based on the use of three Appendices, in which species are listed according to their need for regulation in international trade. The vast majority of all CITES species are listed in Appendix I...
Thesis
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Crocodile monitors are impressive canopy dwellers; these large lizards are an apex predator of the tropical forests of the island of New Guinea. Being highly active and energetic animals, they offer an interesting option for a tropical habitat in any zoological institution. Moreover, this charismatic animal is an excellent ambassador to highlight t...
Article
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The elusive and Critically Endangered silvery pigeon Columba argentina is only found on small offshore islands in western Indonesia and Malaysia. Historically, trade records have suggested that, in addition to habitat degradation and invasive predators, commercial exploitation could be a threat to the species. The current study confirms this to be...
Article
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Bird keeping is deeply rooted in Indonesian culture and markets selling large numbers of birds are found across the country. We examined bird markets in Mataram on the island of Lombok. Across five market visits, 10,326 birds of 108 species were observed, with 18 of these species being nationally protected and 10 having been assessed as globally th...
Article
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Conservation education programs are listed as priority actions for almost every threatened species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. Zoos play an important role in delivering such programs, yet evidence of zoo education in many non-western countries is limited. Here, we evaluate animal identification signage prevalence...
Article
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Social media is known to influence consumers' attitudes and to increase demand for wild animals as pets, when depicted online. We investigate the online presence of the nocturnal primates gala-gos, on TikTok and Instagram, and its influence on followers' attitudes and desire to keep galagos as pets. We monitored activity June-December 2020 and cond...
Article
The international wildlife trade presents severe conservation and environmental security risks, yet no international regulatory framework exists to monitor the trade of species not listed in the appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). We explored the composition and dynamics of inte...
Article
Demand for Saiga Antelope Saiga tatarica horn products in Southeast Asia, due to their perceived medicinal value, has drastically impacted the conservation of this species. At the same time, poor understanding of the dynamics of this trade in parts of Southeast Asia continues to impede regulation and conservation efforts. Here we examine the trade...
Preprint
Full-text available
The international wildlife trade presents severe conservation and environmental security risks. However, no international regulatory framework exists to monitor the trade of species not listed in the appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). We explored the composition and dynamics of...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring illegal wildlife trade and how the modus operandi of traders changes over time is of vital importance to mitigate the negative effects this trade can have on wild populations. We focused on the trade of birds of prey in Indonesia (2016–2021) in bird markets (12 markets, 194 visits), on Instagram (19 seller profiles) and on Facebook (11 o...
Article
Bird trade has led to increasing endangerment of species throughout South-East Asia. An opportunistic survey of two bird markets in Makassar, Sulawesi, Indonesia, highlights continuing problems with illegal trade. In June 2019, a total of 63 species, accounting for 6,352 birds, were observed in two Makassar bird markets. The majority of the birds o...
Article
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The illegal wildlife trade (IWT) threatens conservation and biosecurity effort s. The Internet has greatly facilitated the trade of wildlife, and researchers have increasingly examined the Internet to uncover illegal trade. However, most effort s to locate illegal trade on the Internet are targeted to one or few taxa or products. Large-scale effort...
Article
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It is increasingly realised that for a proper understanding of the illegal aspects of the international timber trade sound data on seizures is needed. Their value, however, may be greatly diminished in the absence of accurate reporting. International trade in rosewood is regulated through CITES, with large amounts trafficked illegally, and annually...
Article
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Wildlife trade is increasingly impeding the conservation of imperilled wildlife and is a potential threat to human health. Ferret badgers are extensively traded in China, although the trends, drivers and health implications of ferret badger trade in other parts of Asia remain poorly known. Here, we focus on the pet trade of a little known endemic s...
Article
The global trade in wildlife affects most major taxonomic groups (Fukushima et al., 2020; Scheffers et al., 2019). Managing wildlife trade requires an accurate understanding of the dimensions of trade and its impacts (positive, neutral, or negative) on the conservation of native wildlife populations. We are concerned that assertions made by Natusch...
Preprint
Full-text available
The illegal wildlife trade (IWT) threatens conservation and biosecurity efforts. The Internet has greatly facilitated the trade of wildlife, and researchers have increasingly examined the Internet to uncover illegal trade. However, most efforts to locate illegal trade on the Internet are targeted to one or few taxa or products. Large-scale efforts...
Article
Unsustainable wildlife trade threatens an increasing number of species globally. Australia has a particularly rich and endemic herpetofauna, which is coveted on the international pet market. While Australia implements domestic protection of most of its native species, there is little to no regulation of international trade once live animals have be...
Article
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In this article we present a standardized dataset on 6659 songbirds (Passeriformes) highlighting information relevant to species conservation prioritization with a main focus to support the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Data were collected from both scientific and grey literature as well as...
Article
Full-text available
Primates are traded yearly in the tens of thousands for reasons such as biomedical research, as trophies and pets, for consumption and to be used in traditional medicine. In many cases, this trade is illegal, unsustainable and considered a major impediment to primate conservation. Diurnal primates make up the vast majority of this trade, but recent...
Technical Report
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Red Listing Data for Batagur borneoensis
Article
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Throughout the range of bears in Asia, a combination of threats - loss of suitable habitat, increasing human conflict, illegal wildlife trade - are pushing bear populations towards extinction. But studies in Asia are showing that indiscriminate poaching and illegal trade are increasingly becoming the main driver of species extinctions. Here we exam...
Article
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Indonesia is home to the Javan Leopard ( Panthera pardus melas ) and the Sunda Clouded Leopard ( Neofelis diardi ), both of which are threatened by habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict issues and the illegal wildlife trade. Leopards and clouded leopards are threatened by the illegal wildlife trade across their range, however, very little is known...
Article
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The Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor) is an island endemic bird species from Indonesia. Its populations have rapidly decreased over the last decades and where the species was once widespread, only fragmented populations now remain. The species is protected on a national level and any capture or trade of wild individuals is strictly prohibi...
Article
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There is a large demand for bear parts in the Czech Republic, and this drives legal and illegal trade in various bear species sourced from outside the country. From 2010 to 2018, the Czech Republic reported legal imports of 495 bear parts, mostly as trophies from Canada and Russia. Illegal trade in bear parts and derivatives for medicine as well as...
Article
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In Indonesia the songbird trade is causing serious declines in many native species. Much of this trade is unregulated or illegal but nevertheless occurs openly in physical wildlife markets and online. Here, we report on the trade in a once common songbird, the Sunda laughingthrush (Garrulax palliatus), using compiled market data from 365 bird marke...
Article
Analysing seizure data is an important part of understanding the scale of the global wildlife trade and is essential when attempting to detect trends in organised crime activities, success of enforcement efforts and species conservation status. Confusion over the Imperial and metric systems with regards to the units of measurement ton and tonne due...
Article
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The illegal wildlife trade is increasingly recognised as a major threat to biodiversity conservation, and one way of curbing it is to properly enforce existing legislation and where appropriate to prosecute to the full extent of the law. One of the taxa that suffers greatly from unregulated trade are the tortoises and freshwater turtles, with colle...
Technical Report
Full-text available
IUCN Red List Assessment
Preprint
Crocodile monitors are impressive canopy dwellers; these large lizards symbolize the apex predator of the tropical forests of Papua New Guinea. Being highly active and energetic animals, they offer a perfect option for a tropical habitat in any zoological institution. Moreover, this charismatic animal is an excellent ambassador to highlight the ram...
Article
Full-text available
The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is the most important global initiative to monitor and regulate the international trade of plants and animals, but there is a lack of (retrospective) assessments of the effectiveness of its actions. We here focus on the international trade in Chinese hwa...
Article
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The Tokay Gecko Gekko gecko is traded internationally in the millions annually for use in traditional medicines and to a lesser extent, for the pet trade. The vast majority of Tokay Geckos are collected in the wild and apparent captive-bred individuals may be in fact wild-caught as well. A get-rich-quick scheme involving the trade of Tokay Gecko ac...
Article
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Malaysia is a known source and consumer of bear bile products in Asia, and sun bears are persistently poached to meet the demand for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Surveys of TCM outlets in the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak were conducted in 2018 and 2019 as part of continuing efforts to monitor the availability of bear bile produ...
Article
Devising strategic conservation plans to curb Indonesia's wild bird trade is pivotal to protect species. However, limited understanding of nationwide trade network patterns could hinder this urgently necessary action. Currently, available information either have restricted geographical scope or is focused on trans-national analysis, limiting unders...
Article
Rinjani Scops-owl is being traded illegally and efforts should be made to further assess the level of threat that this trade may have on the species. The fact that this is the only confirmed Lombok endemic bird species makes such research all the more important. Furthermore, the local BKSDA office should take action immediately, prosecuting any in...
Article
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Indonesia is home to one species of bear, sun bear Helarctos malayanus. Aside from forest loss and habitat degradation, wild populations are being hunted and killed for the illegal wildlife trade. Yet, very little data exists on the extent of this exploitation or its potential impact on bears. To gain a better understanding on this front, we assess...
Article
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Illegal trade in wildlife in Indonesia is rampant, and includes many little-known species, such as the Sulawesi Bear Cuscus Ailurops ursinus. Too often the trade in less charismatic species goes unnoticed, with many being pushed towards extinction. Sadly, few, if any, effective interventions are put in place to prevent further declines. The demand...
Article
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The illegal pangolin trade is of global concern and is placing all pangolin species under high levels of threat. Following a preliminary analysis of global pangolin seizures from 2010 to 2015, Germany emerged as a transit country, especially for pangolins being shipped from Africa to Asia. We analysed seizure data involving Germany from 2010 to 201...
Technical Report
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Owing to its remarkable singing ability, the White-rumped Shama (Kittacincla malabarica) is a particularly popular species in the SouthEast Asian cage-bird trade. Despite domestic trade being regulated in six out of nine SouthEast Asian range states, demand continues to put a heavy strain on the region's White-rumped Shama populations. The lack of...
Article
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Pangolins are threatened by overexploitation for local and international use. They are subject to an international commercial trade ban, and are also the focus of other interventions, including attempts at commercial captive breeding. The impact that the latter could have on the conservation of wild populations deserves consideration. We critically...
Article
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Rare or newly discovered species are attractive targets for poaching as they often command a high value in the international market. Endemic species often have a very restricted range, making them extremely vulnerable to stochastic events and human activities, including poaching. Previous studies have shown that several species endemic to the Nanse...
Article
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The Union Island Gecko Gonatodes daudini is a Critically Endangered gecko, endemic to Union Island, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This species is occurring in an area less than 1 km² in one of the Grenadines only remaining stands of mature forest. Illegal trade in this species was first reported in 2011 and over-harvesting for the international...
Article
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Indonesia is home to four species of otters i.e. Small-clawed Otter, Smooth-coated Otter, Hairy-nosed Otter and the Eurasian Otter. The latter three are protected by law in Indonesia. However, recent studies have shown that it is the Small-clawed Otter that is currently being coveted for the pet trade. Indonesia has been recently flagged as a hotsp...
Article
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The international trade in otters to supply a growing demand from the pet industry is an increasing threat to the conservation of Asia's wild otters. Current use of CITES II is proving inadequate and as such, listing Asian otter species in Appendix I is considered as a solution to allow CITES Parties to more effectively combat this illegal trade. I...
Article
Full-text available
The illegal wildlife trade in Indonesia is a major threat to a long and growing list of species. Otters are no exception and recent research has shown the trade in otters as pets in Indonesia is on the rise. While it is illegal to capture and trade otters from the wild in Indonesia, until recently only two of the four native otter species received...
Article
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The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) aims to ensure that international trade does not further endanger species already threatened by trade. While the scale of legal trade in CITES listed species is relatively well documented, trade in non-CITES listed species is usually only collected when it c...
Article
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This analysis examines seizure data that implicates Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) as a place of origin, transit point or destination of illegally-sourced live bears, their parts and derivatives, from 2010 to 2016. Intensive surveys of trade in 25 towns and villages carried out in 2016 recorded bear parts and derivatives for sale in more th...
Article
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The illegal wildlife trade is a major threat to an increasingly long list of species, and nowhere is this threat greater than in Southeast Asia. The demand for live animals from Southeast Asian countries for the exotic pet trade threatens a wide variety of species, including some already on the brink of extinction. Here we report on seizures made o...
Article
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This study reports on the illegal wildlife trade in the town of Boten, a Specific Economic Zone in the Luang Namtha Province of Lao PDR, located 1 km from the Chinese border. A one-day survey was conducted in April 2016, involving a combination of direct observations of open trade and informal discussions with traders. This was matched against a ra...
Data
Report on bogus captive breeding of tokay geckos and the 2016 Indonesian captive breeding quotas for mammals and reptiles
Article
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In 2018, the Indonesian Government provided legal protection for the Sumatran Laughingthrush Garrulax bicolor. This species, endemic to the island of Sumatra, is now restricted to a few submontane and montane forests on the north and south of the island. Heavily trapped for the Indonesian songbird trade, populations are in serious decline. Calls to...
Technical Report
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Pangolins are currently the most heavily trafficked wild mammals in the world. Their meat is considered a delicacy, and has been attributed to have a medicinal/tonic value, their scales are used in traditional medicines, and pangolin skins are processed into leather products. All eight species are listed as threatened on The IUCN Red List of Thr...
Technical Report
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This short note considers the seizures of African pangolin scales that have taken place in Malaysia over a four-month period in 2017 to contextualize the role of Malaysia in the smuggling of African pangolins.
Article
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Currently listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Straw-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus zeylanicus is being driven towards extinction throughout most of its range by unregulated illegal trade supplying the demand for songbirds. We conducted surveys of bird markets in North and West Kalimantan, and Central, West and East Java b...
Article
Ethnopharmacological relevance Wild animals are widely used in traditional Asian medicine but information from Myanmar is lacking. We show that a wide range of animals are used at a pilgrimage site, mostly for their rendered fats and oils