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Online wildlife trade exposed.

A BAHRAINI website has been exposed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) for supporting the trade in exotic animals and birds.

The homepage of the website www.mbahrain.net has been blocked by authorities, but it is still possible to access content through its sub-pages.

It has been singled out by the IFAW in a report called Wanted - Dead or Alive Exposing Online Wildlife Trade, which states the biggest problem in Bahrain is the trade of exotic birds.

On a global level birds account for the second most commonly traded exotic species behind reptiles.

"The greatest proportion - 73 per cent - of the 2,254 bird advertisements recorded globally were for exotic birds including parrots, hornbills, toucans, passerines and humming birds," the IFAW report said.

"The highest proportion of these was parrots featuring in 1,558 advertisements, representing 69pc of all categories of birds.

"Exotic birds were the top category in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Canada and were many other countries' second-most common category of animals for sale."

IFAW found 10 separate advertisements for a total of 14 exotic species on www.mbahrain.net, together worth BD5,340.

However, Al Areen Wildlife Resources, Environment and Wildlife vice-president and environmental expert professor Dr Ismail Al Madani said the issue was negligible in Bahrain when compared to the rest of the world - especially countries like China where exotic species worth more than $2.7m were being sold.

"Bahrain is small and has a small population so those kind of trades compared to the rest of the world are negligible. These things do happen in Bahrain, but the sale of exotic animals is usually very isolated," he said.

When the GDN accessed the pages of www.mbahrain.net, a pair of "European" eagles were being advertised for sale at BD187 each, as well as parrots, love birds and cockatiels.

The UAE had most advertisements for exotic animals in the GCC, followed by Bahrain.

"The site hosting the largest amount of advertisements was dubaimoon.com, with 85 advertisements representing 70pc of trade in the UAE that was recorded in this investigation," stated the report.

"Additionally, halaluae.com in the UAE and mbahrain.net in Bahrain had 10 advertisements each for the sale of

exotic animals."

The report explained that of the online sales of exotic species, 90pc were birds and 10pc were primates.

ahmed@gdn.com.bh

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Nov 28, 2014
Words:413
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