Trade in Bengal Slow Lorises in Mong La, Myanmar, on the China Border

Vincent Nijman, Chris R. Shepherd, K. Anne-Isola Nekaris
2014 Primate Conservation  
Despite being protected throughout their range, the illegal trade in slow lorises is a clear impediment to their conservation. Little is known about this trade from Myanmar. We report on three visits to the town of Mong La, Myanmar, on the border with China, where Bengal slow lorises Nycticebus bengalensis are traded illegally. Combined with survey data from other researchers, it is clear that slow lorises are ubiquitously present at Mong La's animal market. They are traded either as
more » ... ses, skins, and hands and feet (average of 26 items/survey)-or alive (average of 5 individuals/survey). Live animals typically arrive at the market in the morning; they are slaughtered, and the carcass at least is sold the same day. Estimating from live animals, our data suggest that over a thousand Bengal slow lorises may be traded annually from this one market alone. Trade in Mong La may be local or may be geared towards the Chinese market, and thus the trade in Mong La is not only contra to Myanmar's law but also clearly violates the rules and intentions of CITES. We hope that by documenting the trade in slow lorises we will raise awareness amongst conservationists and primatologists about the realities of the unsustainable hunting of slow lorises and that it will be an incentive for the Myanmar and Chinese authorities to take appropriate action to curb this illegal trade.
doi:10.1896/052.028.0112 fatcat:t4t757vhandp7au5i76scjukee