What’s next? The release of exotic pets continues virtually unabated 7 years after enforcement of new legislation for managing ...



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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11703/120759
Title: What’s next? The release of exotic pets continues virtually unabated 7 years after enforcement of new legislation for managing invasive species
Authors: Consorci del Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona
Maceda-Veiga, Alberto
Escribano-Alacid, Josep
Martínez-Silvestre, Albert
Verdaguer, Isabel
Mac Nally, Ralph
Issue Date: 29-May-2019
Keywords: Animals invasors
Introducció d'animals
Animals exòtics
Animals de companyia
Spatial coverage: Espanya
Península Ibèrica
Access to document: http://hdl.handle.net/2072/376192
Citation: Biological invasions, 21, 2933–2947
Publisher: Springer Nature
Extent: 15 p.
Abstract: There are many pathways by which invasive species are introduced and become established, with the exotic pet trade becoming an increasingly important route. The abandonment of pets is a growing problem, which has been recognized widely and that has provoked some legislative responses. We developed an approach to deal with the abandonment issue that is more comprehensive than existing frameworks. We analyzed a substantial data set on exotic fish, crayfish and herptiles in northeastern Spain to illustrate the approach and its rationale. Spanish legislation mirroring the recently enforced European Strategy to control invasive species was introduced in 2011, and we analyzed information from 2009 to 2018 to assess the effectiveness of the legislation. The 2011 legislation was intended to ban the sale of a prioritized list of invasive species in retailers, which aimed to reduce the release of exotic species into recipient ecosystems. We did not see any prohibited species for sale in retailers after 2011. However, 60,753 exotic animals from 4 classes, 10 orders, 47 families and 139 species were recorded in Barcelona and elsewhere in northeastern Spain, including 134 species other than the 5 prioritized invasive species. We found little evidence of a change in exotic pet releases into urban lakes after 2011. Invasive terrapins (Trachemys spp.) were captured in urban lakes and were the most prevalent taxon in a herptile rescue centre with increased numbers after 2011. We advocate a four-tier approach to deal more effectively with the pet-abandonment issue, which includes: (1) better understanding of uncertainties in the listing of potentially invasive species; (2) allowing would-be owners to seek accreditation (through training); (3) pit-tagging to ensure that animals can be associated with registered owners, including species now prohibited but that had been traded for decades; and (4) ensuring that adults of low-cost, small-size-at-purchase species are present at the point-of-sale to ‘warn against’ the consequences of impulsive purchases.
Terms of use details: © 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Part of Springer Nature.
Appears in Collections:Vertebrats / Articles

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