The following are some wildlife souvenirs that are commonly found for sale in many locations throughout the world and should definitely stay OFF your shopping list. Please use extreme caution before buying any animal souvenir.
Big Cat Skins
Live Animal Trade
Other Wildlife Items
Skins from crocodiles, alligators, snakes, lizards and other reptiles are often made into bags, shoes, watch straps or belts. It is hard to tell the difference between the skin of an
endangered and non-endangered species. Many reptiles are protected under international law. Alligator and crocodile products are the wildlife items most frequently seized by Customs.
"Tortoiseshell" is the term commonly used for sea turtle shells, which are frequently turned into souvenirs such as sunglasses, hair slides and jewelry. The beautiful shell of the
hawksbill turtle (bekko) is particularly sought after. International trade in the products of all marine turtles is illegal. Yet they are still widely available in resorts all over the
|The primary uses for seahorses are traditional medicines, souvenirs and curios (dried trade), and trade as aquarium pets (live trade). The global trade in dried seahorses exceeded 24.5 million individuals in 2000. Many hundreds of thousands were also caught that year to supply the expanding pet trade|
Corals are tiny animals that live together in large colonies. They are commonly harvested for souvenirs, especially black, red, bush, hump, finger and lace corals. Corals play an essential
role in shallow water reef ecosystems by providing food and shelter for thousands of other species. Many species of corals are protected, with trade either regulated or strictly
Often for sale in a variety of beautiful colours and sizes, seashells are harvested in great quantities. This has pushed some into the endangered zone - especially large
ones such as the Queen conch or the giant clam which take many decades to grow. You cannot bring seashells home with you without export and import permits.
Please be aware that this list is by no means exhaustive.
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