An assessment of illegal capuchin monkey trade in Bahia State, Brazil

Rafaela Almeida do Nascimento, Alexandre Schiavetti, Romari Alejandra Martinez Montaño

Abstract


Wildlife trade is illegal in Brazil. The issues associated with this problem are always difficult to resolve. Based on questionnaires, public and private reports, interviews and personal visits, the quantity and characteristics of captive capuchin monkeys (genus Sapajus) in the state of Bahia, northeastern Brazil are described. Questionnaires were sent to public and private institutions throughout the state to assess the captive groups of Sapajus spp. and identify possible routes of illegal traffic. Results showed a total of 105 captive capuchins. At least 15 individuals were identified as a byproduct of illegal trade. Six species were identified, three of them native of Bahia. Our study confirms the presence of critical routes for animal trafficking. Major points of illegal sales are the street markets in seven cities. Welfare, biological and sanitary conditions of captive capuchin monkeys need serious revision and improvements throughout the State. A list of management suggestions to captive Sapajus groups in Bahia, extensive to captive capuchins in all Brazil, is presented.

Key words: public policy, wildlife traffic, illegal routes, capuchin monkeys.


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