School of Business and Law
The trade in primates as pets is a global enterprise and as access to the Internet has increased, so too has the trade of live primates online. While quantifying primate trade in physical markets is relatively straightforward, limited insights have been made into trade via the Internet. Here we followed a three-pronged approach to estimate the prevalence and ease of purchasing primates online in countries with different socioeconomic characteristics. We first conducted a literature review, in which we found that Malaysia, Thailand, the USA, Ukraine, South Africa, and Russia stood out in terms of the number of primate individuals being offered for sale as pets in the online trade. Then, we assessed the perceived ease of purchasing pet primates online in 77 countries, for which we found a positive relationship with the Internet Penetration Rate, total human population and Human Development Index, but not to Gross Domestic Product per capita or corruption levels of the countries. Using these results, we then predicted the levels of online primate trade in countries for which we did not have first-hand data. From this we created a global map of potential prevalence of primate trade online. Finally, we analysed price data of the two primate taxa most consistently offered for sale, marmosets and capuchins. We found that prices increased with the ease of purchasing primates online and the Gross Domestic Product per capita. This overview provides insight into the nature and intricacies of the online primate pet trade and advocates for increased trade regulation and monitoring in both primate range and non-range countries where trade has been substantially reported. © 2023 The Authors
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