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US hobby importation numbers/ fun with CITES data

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:46 am
by joneill809
I thought I would take a look at CITES U.S. import data ... because I thought it would be interesting. :) I got to thinking about it after thinking about ways to estimate the relative size of the U.S. hobby and note any trends in species popularity. There was a poll a while back asking how many people were involved in the hobby, but I was curious about the volume of animals coming into the country. I pulled CITES data from as many species as I could think of, and filtered the data for "US" and "live" imports.

The height of importation seems to be in 2008 to 2010, where roughly 10,000 animals were imported per year. This figure seems to have fallen to 5,000 to 6,000 per year from 2010 to 2013. This of course does not tell us how big the CB trade is, but the trends per species is interesting. Here's the full graphic:
You will have to click on this graphic to be able to read it. Note the micro plots on the left are not to scale by row - I used them to illustrate trends - had I fixed the max scale the auratus numbers would swamp all other species.

The trend that was interesting to me was the drop in imports of auratus around 2009-2010 and the increase of pumilio around 2004-2005:
frog-import-top3.png (27.94 KiB) Viewed 2501 times

The low import counts on tincs was surprising to me, as was the high number of Pumilio. Here is the full top three with the annual import totals:

I don't know what to make of the sylvatica / histrionica numbers matching each other 1:1. One of you large Oophaga keepers probably will come up with a better hypothesis than me.

One of the most surprising aspects of the data to me was the Mantella numbers. I had no idea how heavily imported they were. Note how they dominate the list when added:
Again you'll need to click on this one to read it.

I didn't look at all imports world wide, or exports by country, but I have pulled all that data and I have it in a single spreadsheet which will make it relatively easy to plot those views. Anyhow I don't know how to interpret all this yet, but I thought it might be interesting to share and discuss. Feel free to ask for alternate views and I'll see what I can pull together. It's definitely interesting stuff...

Re: US hobby size - estimation methods / fun with CITES data

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:50 am
by Gope
Really interesting data, thanks Jim!

Re: US hobby size - estimation methods / fun with CITES data

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:56 am
by joneill809
Resurrecting this thread because of other hobby discussions about the importation of O. histrionica in the 90s. According to the CITES data they were heavily imported in the 90s from Ecuador. So much so they occupy the fifth slot in the most imported dart frog between 1974 and 2014:
image.jpg (51.17 KiB) Viewed 2388 times

Perusing this data yourself is quite easy. It's available in web or CSV format at:

I usually widen the date range to include all data. The taxon box autofills with available animals as you type.


Once you execute the search your data renders:

So if you are interested in the import history of O. histrionica here is the link that you will need to copy and paste because of its use of brackets:

Code: Select all[time_range_start]=1975&filters[time_range_end]=2014&filters[exporters_ids][]=all_exp&filters[importers_ids][]=all_imp&filters[sources_ids][]=all_sou&filters[purposes_ids][]=all_pur&filters[terms_ids][]=all_ter&filters[selection_taxon]=taxon&filters[taxon_concepts_ids][]=3629&filters[reset]=&web_disabled=&filters[report_type]=comptab&filters[csv_separator]=comma

Re: US hobby size - estimation methods / fun with CITES data

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:17 am
by Coqui
I myself had gather some information from 1994, but was unaware of the large number of Histos that were imported.
Thanks for posting this.

Re: US hobby size - estimation methods / fun with CITES data

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:51 am
by joneill809
The above link was worldwide imports. This one is filtered for US:

Code: Select all[time_range_start]=1975&filters[time_range_end]=2014&filters[exporters_ids][]=all_exp&filters[importers_ids][]=80&filters[sources_ids][]=all_sou&filters[purposes_ids][]=all_pur&filters[terms_ids][]=all_ter&filters[selection_taxon]=taxon&filters[taxon_concepts_ids][]=3629&filters[reset]=&web_disabled=&filters[report_type]=comptab&filters[csv_separator]=comma

Re: US hobby importation numbers/ fun with CITES data

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:12 am
by Sherman
If I am reading the last link correctly, from 1987 to 2014 Colombia exported to the USA, 11 "live" animals with no label for purpose and 16 (dead) "specimens" with the purpose stated as "s".

Re: US hobby importation numbers/ CITES data

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:51 am
by Coqui
This link is for the import from Colombia to US. in the single year of 1994 only. ... 5D=comptab