all sea turtle
TRAFFIC North America
c/o World Wildlife Fund
1250 24th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
U.S. Fish &
U.S. Department of the Interior
Washington, DC 20240
Prohibited imports include
Welcome to the
When shopping during your Caribbean trip, be
aware that what you buy could affect the very
environment you’ve come to enjoy. Although many
wildlife and plant products you see for sale come
from sustainably managed populations, you may
need permits to take them out of the country or
carry them into other countries. If a product is
made from endangered or illegally taken wildlife or
plants, it could be confiscated and even earn you a
fine. Buyer beware — read on for tips on what to
avoid, and where to find the rules you need to know
before making purchases.
A region of remarkable beauty, the Caribbean is
home to six of the world’s seven sea turtle species
and 14 percent of the world’s coral reefs. Nearly
one-third of the plants and animals in the Caribbean
islands are found nowhere else in the world.
Consequently, many Caribbean countries protect
their native wildlife under both national laws and the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species (CITES). This comprehensive wildlife treaty,
signed by some 160 nations, monitors and regulates
international trade in wildlife and wildlife products,
and helps to ensure sustainable trade.
Please support the conservation efforts of Caribbean
nations: Learn the facts and ask questions before
you buy any wildlife or plant product. By making
informed choices, you can also avoid incurring
fines, having your purchases confiscated upon
departure from a Caribbean country or reentry to
your home country, or introducing an invasive
species in your home country. If you have questions
about a purchase, contact local authorities and/or
the CITES Management Authority office. Check the
Web sites of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
(www.le.fws.gov), World Wildlife Fund
(www.wwfus.org/buyerbeware), or CITES
WHEN IN DOUBT,
✔ What is this product made of?
✔ Where did this product come from?
✔ Do I need any special documents or
permits to take this item home?
Questions about a purchase? Contact local
authorities and/or the CITES Management
Authority office, or check these resources
for the latest information:
www.cites.org Printed in 2003.
Cover photo: Hawksbill/Anja Burns
Stuffed green turtle/Nina Marshall
B U Y E R Beware C A R I B B E A N
Insects You can
find mounted butter-flies,
other insects for sale
in the Caribbean, and
you may need permits
to bring these items
Plants Plants, such as orchids, cacti, and
cycads, may be subject to national and international
conservation laws as well as strict pest regulation.
plants and require
certifying that they
are pest- and
Before you collect
seeds or buy live
plants to bring
new places can
crowding out and
Caviar If you’re on a cruise or visit a duty-free
shop, you may have an opportunity to buy caviar.
All sturgeon species are protected, and trade in
sturgeon meat and caviar is regulated worldwide.
Without a CITES permit, you may only bring home
250 grams (about 8.5 ounces) or less of most types
of caviar per person per trip.
Sea Turtles International trade in all sea turtle
products is prohibited, and most Caribbean countries
ban domestic sale, but poaching and commercial use
remain serious threats. Please do not buy any items
made of sea turtle, such as tortoiseshell items
(jewelry, hairpins, etc.) or leather goods (wallets,
belts, etc.). Overcollection has contributed to the
decline of these turtles, and now all six species found
in the region are endangered.
coral reefs. Dried
coral sold in
require permits or
Conch Many countries now regulate collection
and export of queen conch meat and shells.
Populations of queen conch in most areas of the
Caribbean have declined due to intensive fishing for
their meat and collection for their rare pearls and
their shells, which are sold whole or made into
carvings or jewelry.
Reptiles Reptiles are traded as pets. Their parts,
particularly their skins, are used for leather products
such as shoes,
are made from
reptiles from sus-tainably
some species in
trade are protect-ed
and may be
subject to export
Birds Parrots make engaging pets, but trade in
these birds requires permits. Also be aware that
all birds face quarantine when you take them home.
Products containing the feathers of exotic and
migratory birds may be off limits under international
and national laws.
BUYER BEWARE CARD
Carry this when you travel
✔ all sea turtle products
✔ certain leather products, including some
made from caiman, crocodiles, lizards,
✔ certain live birds, including many parrots,
macaws, cockatoos, and finches
✔ some wild bird feathers, mounted birds,
skins, and some skin products
✔ live monkeys
✔ spotted cat skin products
✔ some corals and coral products
✔ certain orchids, cacti, and cycads
Clip this card and keep it with you.
Other Species Other wildlife and wildlife
products can also be found for sale in the
Caribbean. Among these are live monkeys, which
are almost universally protected from trade, and
products made from spotted cats, such as jaguars
and ocelots, whose skins are prohibited in trade.
Buyer Beware! Learn about
Trade in these Species
Loggerhead turtle/Anja Burns
Tubastrea coral/Andrew Bruckner Yellow-headed Amazon parrot/TRAFFIC
Windowsill orchid/Nina Marshall
Blue morpho butterfly/Dennis Glick
Caiman/Ginette Hemley Ocelot/Tony Rath
Small photos on back (L to R): E. Fleming; WWF/TRAFFIC; WWF; Steve
Hildebrand/USFWS; Howard W. Buffet; Andrew Bruckner; Michael Durham;
Linda R. McMahon
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