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International bushmeat trade originating from West/Central Africa Introduction to species identification Developed by the CITES Secretariat GreenCustoms.

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Presentation on theme: "International bushmeat trade originating from West/Central Africa Introduction to species identification Developed by the CITES Secretariat GreenCustoms."— Presentation transcript:

1 International bushmeat trade originating from West/Central Africa Introduction to species identification Developed by the CITES Secretariat GreenCustoms Knowledge Series No. 25

2 2 Questions to answer Can species used in the bushmeat trade be identified? How? What are the main groups of species involved, and how can they be differentiated? What precautions are necessary when handling bushmeat? Where can assistance be found?

3 Bushmeat identification Can species used in the bushmeat trade be identified? –Many species appearing in the bushmeat trade can be identified –However, depending on the state of the specimen (for example, when dealing with dried or cooked/smoked meat), it may not be possible to identify to species level, or even to group level – unless laboratories are able to conduct detailed analyses (e.g. DNA profiling) and compare with reference samples

4 Bushmeat identification How can species used in the bushmeat trade be identified? –Inspection and comparison with reference materials, photographs etc., while looking for characteristic features –Consultation with experts and national CITES authorities –Assistance from specialized laboratories

5 Bushmeat identification What is it? Where do I start?

6 Bushmeat identification Start by considering the main groups –Apes, monkeys –Elephant –Small carnivores –Small antelopes –Pangolins –Rodents –Snakes, lizards, tortoises –Birds

7 Bushmeat identification How these appear in trade may be very different –Whole carcasses, fresh, frozen, dried or smoked –Cut pieces, fresh, frozen, dried or smoked –Meat, dried or smoked –Cooked items

8 Bushmeat identification How can specimens be identified? –Whole carcasses (fresh, frozen, dried/smoked) –Parts (fresh, frozen, dried/smoked) –Derivatives Which species are in highest demand internationally, and therefore more likely to be encountered by Customs?

9 Bushmeat identification There may still be characteristic features that can be used in identification, even if the specimens are cut, dried, smoked or otherwise heavily modified in appearance Photo credit: Teresa Hart Bonobo: face all black, unlike the Chimpanzee which has a pale or mottled face

10 Bushmeat identification Main characteristics to look for –Skull/head –Body shape –Fur/hair/scales –Leg/feet/claws –Tail length and shape Photo credit: Teresa Hart Pangolin: Covered in thick scales, species can be identified by tail-body length, extent of scales on legs

11 Bushmeat – mammals and CITES In some cases it is easy to tell if CITES-listed species are involved –All primates are included in Appendix I or II –All wild cats are in Appendix I or II However, for other large groups used for bushmeat, it is not straightforward –Duikers & chevrotains can be Appendix I, II, III or not listed –Some commonly traded mammal species, such as porcupines and large rodents are not listed

12 Bushmeat identification

13 Apes, monkeys Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) –Large, tailless ape, dark brown to black with brighter face –Face is bare, with pale, mottled or darkly pigmented skin –White hairs grow on the chin in adults of both sexes Photo credit: Thomas Lersch

14 Apes, monkeys Bonobo (Pan paniscus) –Face black; lips reddish or pink, slender body, arms and legs proportionally longer than Chimpanzee; arms longer than legs Photo credit: Teresa Hart

15 Apes, monkeys Monkeys –Drill, Mandrill (Appendix I) Largest monkeys, baboon-like (M: cm, F: 56-66cm) Mandrill male has the colorful face Photo credit: Malene Thyssen Mandrill Drill

16 Apes, monkeys Colobus monkeys (all have very reduced thumbs) –Black colobus (App. II) All black in coloration (58– 72cm, tail 60–97cm, 6–11kg) –King colobus (App. II) White only on whiskers, chest, and tail; tail not tufted) King colobus Photo credit: Frank Wouters

17 Apes, monkeys Colobus monkeys (all have very reduced thumbs) –Red colobus (App. II) Black from forehead over head, neck, shoulders, upper arms, along back to outer side of thighs; whiskers, forearms, legs and underparts bright red or orange; white triangular area on hindquarters Red colobus Photo credit: Atamari

18 Apes, monkeys Monkeys –Guenons (Genus Cercopithecus ) Diana guenon (C. diana) App. I Red-bellied guenon (C. erythrogaster) Red-eared guenon (C. erythrotis) Owl faced monkey (C. hamlyni) De Brazza’s monkey (C. neglectus) Greater white-nosed monkey (C. nictitans) Crowned guenon (C. pogonias) Preuss’s guenon (C. preussi) Sclater’s guenon (C. sclateri) Sun tailed guenon (C. solatus)

19 Apes, monkeys Monkeys –Guenons (Genus Cercopithecus ) Characteristic shape, small size Photo credit: Dawn Starin

20 Apes, monkeys Monkeys –Grey-cheeked mangabey (Lophocebus albigena) Generally black; crest has some brown posteriorly; short cheek hairs are greyish to whitish; shoulder mantle is grey with a brown tinge; thighs grey; underparts smoky grey. –Black mangabey (Lophocebus aterrimus) Photo credit: Teresa Hart

21 Apes, monkeys Species?

22 Elephant Elephant meat may appear as large pieces of smoke-blackened meat It will generally be more expensive in relation to other meats on sale Photo credit: MIKE-IUCN

23 Small carnivores Civets, mongooses –Carcasses will appear as somewhat cat- or weasel- like, with long pointed muzzles African civet (Civettictis civetta) Appendix III Photo credit: LA Dawson Common Kusimanse (Crossarchus obscurus) Non-CITES

24 Small carnivores Palm civet (Nandinia binotata) Non-CITES Black-footed mongoose (Bdeogale nigripes) Non-CITES – 4 toes on each limb instead of 5 Skinned Palm civet

25 Small antelopes Jentink’s duiker (Cephalophus jentinki) Appendix I Ogilby’s duiker (C. ogilbyi) A ppendix II –Medium size, color golden brown; underparts paler; legs darker than the body; tail with grey tip; horns rather long (10cm+), conical, strongly ringed at the base

26 Small antelopes Yellow-backed duiker (C. sylvicultor) Appendix II –Largest duiker with characteristic triangular yellow central patch on the back –Horns smooth at the base, rather long (10cm+), bowed downwards Photo credit: Raul654

27 Small antelopes Blue duiker (C. monticola) Appendix II –Very small; slate grey to dark brown, darker on the back with a bluish gloss; forehead dark brown; white streak running above the eye from the base of each horn to the muzzle; slit like opening of the suborbital gland below each eye is surrounded by bare skin patch; horns very small; tail long, black, bushy and fringed by white hairs; legs same as the body or tinged with rufous, sometimes bright rufous contrasting with the body

28 Small antelopes Banded duiker (C. zebra) Appendix II –Small, 12 conspicuous transverse bands; horns tiny (3cm) almost concealed by the hairs of the crest, straight, smooth at the base

29 Small antelopes Water chevrotain (Hyemoschus aquaticus) App. III –A small, compactly built and duiker-like; a hunched back; a spotted coat with lateral stripes; without horns or antlers; upper canines of the male long and sharp

30 Small antelopes Which species? What characteristics are visible?

31 Pangolins Pangolins have no teeth, and they eat ants and termites using their tongue Their bodies are covered in hard scales, and will curl into a ball as a defensive measure The African species can be differentiated by the length of their tails and the coverage of scales on their legs 31

32 Pangolins Tree pangolin (Manis tricuspis) –Tail longer than the body; scales on the forelegs do not extend to the toes Photo credit: Valerius Tygart

33 Pangolins Tree pangolin (Manis tricuspis) –Tail longer than the body; scales on the forelegs do not extend to the toes Photo credit: Teresa Hart

34 Pangolins Tree pangolin (Manis tricuspis) – smoked –Tail longer than the body; scales on the forelegs do not extend to the toes Photo credit: AP

35 Pangolins Giant pangolin (Manis gigantea) –Tail not much longer than the body; scales on lower parts of fore and hind legs

36 Rodents Porcupines –Brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus) Non-CITES One of the largest rodents in Africa; short spines, long tail, sharp incisors Photo credit: Teresa Hart

37 Rodents Porcupines –Brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus) Non-CITES –Spines still visible on smoked carcass Photo credit: Pol Meuleneire / Belgian Customs

38 Rodents Porcupines –Crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) Non-CITES Short tail, long spines, sharp incisors

39 Greater cane rat, grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) Non-CITES Rodents

40 Greater cane rat, grasscutter (Thryonomys swinderianus) Non-CITES –Short legs, visible incisors Photo credit: AP

41 Snakes African rock python (Python sebae) App. II –One of the largest snakes in the world –Typically brown with olive and tan irregular blotching Photo credit: Teresa Hart

42 Lizards Ornate monitor ( Varanus ornatus) and Nile monitor (V. niloticus) are very similar Photo credit: Factumquintus

43 Forest hinge-back tortoise (Kinixys erosa) Appendix II (Gradual slope along the back of the carapace) Home’s hinge-back tortoise ( Kinixys homeana) Appendix II (Sharp downward angle along the back) Tortoises

44 Birds Birds make up a small proportion of the bushmeat for sale in markets –Light hollow bones, skull with beak –Some feathers may still be present on carcasses Hornbills are among the birds most frequently reported in African bushmeat studies Yellow-casqued Hornbill

45 Bushmeat handling

46 46 Handling bushmeat specimens The handling of CITES specimens requires careful attention Dead specimens (such as bushmeat) can be dangerous to yourself and others, and can require specialized care and handling When in doubt, do not hesitate to call for specialized and experienced help from CITES authorities or other sources (such as zoo veterinarians and health experts)

47 47 Handling bushmeat specimens Points to consider when handling bushmeat specimens: –Availability of relevant documents - do you have all the information you need? Do you know the point of origin? –Where to carry out the examination - do you have a secure place where any escapes can be immediately controlled? –Storage facility - if you have to hold the specimens, do you have a suitable facility?

48 48 Handling bushmeat specimens Points to consider when handling bushmeat specimens: –Health and safety concerns - are you and your colleagues trained to deal with bushmeat specimens? –Do you have the right equipment to ensure the safety of yourself, others? –Are you equipped to deal with cuts, scratches or other minor injuries? –Do you have access to help and advice if needed?

49 49 Handling bushmeat specimens Points to consider when handling bushmeat specimens: –Availability of experts - can you contact experts who are experienced in dealing with bushmeat? –Do you have their contact details outside working hours? –Other agencies - have you contacted other agencies that may need to be informed (such as the CITES Management Authority)? –Do you have the contact details of people in charge outside working hours?

50 50 Equipment It is important to keep basic equipment at hand –Surgical gloves, face masks –Antibacterial soap and detergents should be available for the handlers and the handling areas

51 51 Health Be aware that bushmeat specimens may carry zoonoses, also called zoonotic disease, which are diseases that can be passed from animals to humans Remember, the risk of disease may be greater in illegally- traded specimens that have evaded veterinary or health checks and inspections CITES Team, UK Border Agency

52 52 Health Diseases carried by animals include Ebola, Marburg virus, hepatitis A and B, green monkey disease, simian deficiency virus (animal AIDS), monkeypox, aspergillosis, botulism, and salmonella There are well over 200 zoonotic diseases Photo credit: Dr. Robert Shongo Monkeypox

53 53 Health Some examples of zoonoses are: –Salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, anthrax, brucellosis, E. coli, leptospirosis, plague, shigellosis and tularaemia, from bacteria –Cysticercosis/taeniasis, echinococcosis/hydatidosis, toxoplasmosis and trematodosis, from parasites –Q-fever and other Rickettsial diseases –Rabies, avian influenza, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, Ebola, and Rift Valley fever, from viruses World Health Organization Find out more at

54 Assistance

55 Make sure you know who to contact in your country –Health, veterinary departments for experts and technical advice –CITES Management Authority (for CITES-listed species, assistance with identification) –Non-Governmental organizations may be able to assist with identification and handling advice

56 Summary Many species appearing in the bushmeat trade can be identified For dried/smoked specimens it may not be possible to identify to species level, or even to group level – unless laboratories are able to conduct detailed analyses Some identification characteristics may remain, which can allow a distinction to be made between main groups of species in the bushmeat trade The main groups include apes and monkeys, small carnivores, small antelopes, pangolins, rodents, snakes, lizards, tortoises and birds 56

57 Summary Main characteristics to look for include the skull/head/horns, body shape, fur/hair/scales, leg/feet/claws, and tail length and shape Dead specimens (such as bushmeat) can be dangerous to yourself and others, and can require specialized care and handling Safe handling of bushmeat requires training, information and equipment, and you may need to call upon specialized assistance Make sure you know who to contact in your country for assistance and advice 57

58 58 CITES Secretariat Geneva


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