Endangered species commission to meet

March 1, 2013 at 2:44 PM
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BANKOK, Thailand, March 1 (UPI) -- Protection of the world's rhino, elephant and shark populations from trade in animal parts will highlight endangered species talks in Bangkok, delegates say.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, set to convene Sunday in its first meeting since 2010, will assess levels of protection for animals and plants in the face of increasing poaching threats worldwide, the Bangkok Post reported.

While rhinos and elephants are listed as protected species and their international trade is banned, poaching has been increasing in recent years, leading to calls for the convention to set stricter measures for more species.

Much attention will be focused on the host nation, as Thailand is considered by many wildlife organizations to be a hub for traffickers of endangered species.

Thailand has been singled out for allowing the legal sale of Asian elephant ivory in its territory. Poachers take advantage of Thailand's laws to sell African ivory, which is difficult to differentiate from that of Asian elephants.

The World Wildlife Fund this week presented Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra a petition to ban trade in ivory in Thailand.

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