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Endangered Animals and Illegal Pet Trade In Costa Rica

Endangered Animals and Illegal Pet Trade In Costa Rica

 Costa Rica is the home of almost 4.5% of the global biodiversity. The government makes a lot of efforts to protect areas, plants and animals in the country’s territory and to capacitate personnel to be park rangers. Besides, there are a lot of non profit organizations to keep endangered species safe by rescuing them from houses where they are kept as pets in poor life conditions, try to return them to their natural habitat and if that’s not possible, shelter them and protect them from illegal trade. 


Costa Rica’s government has several laws for biodiversity´s protection, like the Wildlife Conservation Law, which prohibits the trade, captivity and sport hunting with fines, and even jail. The country also has a Wildlife National Commision, they are in charge of advice, raise awareness and support the conservation, management, sustainable use and fair and equitable distribution of the benefits and not to participate in illegal trade of the wildlife.


By Costa Rica’s Political Constitution, article 50, every tico has the right of living in a healthy environment so the related government ministries are in charge of not allowing the conservation of ecosystems and public health to be compromised by supervising every operation of development made. One of the most important institutes for this task is the SINAC that watches over forests, wildlife, protected wild areas, conservation of watersheds and water systems matters. They make all the decisions related to sustainable development in the country. 

Besides this organism, Costa Rica has the following Agreements to protect biodiversity:


  1. Convention of Migratory Species (CMS) : The goal is to protect migratory species and their habitats while they’re in Costa Rica. 
  2. Convention of Biological Diversity (CDB): It is made to take advantage of the biodiversity in Costa Rica but without hurting it and sharing the benefits equitably.
  3. Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): This one is made to make sure that in animal and plant trade, their survival is not in danger.
  4. Convention of Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR): Is an international agreement to promote the conservation and use rationally of the wetlands. 
  5. Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles: Some American countries, Costa Rica included, agreed to some actions to protect and conserve turtles.


Besides those agreements, there are laws in place in the country like the Environment Organic Law #755, Biodiversity Law #7788, Wildlife Conservation Law #7317, 40548-MINAE Decree, Biodiversity National Strategy and its Action Plan. These are the efforts made by Costa Rica’s government to protect, conserve and manage sustainability of the animals and plants and make possible that the wildlife is not affected by the development made in the different zones of Central America.


There are also public campaigns to portrait the issues of wildlife illegal trade. If people don’t buy the animals and plants sold in clandestine ways, sellers won’t steal the wildlife from their natural habitats. Efforts need to be made from every house to protect the environment by compromising to take care of it, reduce waste, smart use of water, not hurting animals, plant local flora that attracts bugs to gardens and backyards and every other way thinkable to preserve the beautiful place Costa Rica is. 



Karen Ebanks

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