According to a new study in Tropical Conservation Science a surprising number of invertebrates are used in Brazilian traditional medicines, which are popular both in rural and urban areas. Researcher discovered that at least 81 species from five taxonomic groups are being used to treat a variety of illnesses in Brazil.
Insect species proved to be the most popular of invertebrate curatives, comprising over half of the species found in the study. Seventeen of the species were mollusks and 16 of them were crustaceans.
Unfortunately four of the species used in traditional medicine also appear on Brazil’s list of threatened species. For some of the species basic studies are lacking. The researchers suggest that conservation measures need to be considered for those species that are threatened and those that are in particular demand in Brazil due to concerns of overexploitation. In addition, the authors promote creating regulations to ensure sustainability.
CITATION: Alves, R. N. and Dias, T. L. P. 2010. Usos de invertebrados na medicina popular no Brasil e suas implicações para conservação. Tropical Conservation Science Vol. 3 (2):159-174.
Farming snails to save the world’s rarest gorillas
(04/28/2010) In a place of poverty and hunger, how do you save a species on the edge of extinction? A difficult question that conservationists have long-been working to tackle, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has come up with a new plan to protect the world’s most endangered gorilla, the Cross River gorilla, from poachers by providing locals with an alternate and better income from farming snails.
CITES rejects monitoring of coral trade
(03/21/2010) After denying protection to polar bears, sharks, and the Critically Endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has today voted against additional protections for harvested coral species, according to TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring group. The joint US and EU measure would have put in place scientific and trade monitoring of over thirty species of red and pink coral in the Mediterranean and western Pacific.
Illegal wildlife trade worth $20B/yr
(03/19/2008) The illegal wildlife trade generates $5 to $20 billion annually, making it the largest illicit market after guns and drugs trafficking, reports a study released by the Congressional Research Service.