Happy Year of the Monkey everyone. Sadly the first monkey related blogpost on HH is about Western media’s on going monkey business when it comes to China reporting.
For 2016, the first salvo is about the shameless nouveau riche of China illegally owning endangered “thumb monkey” of Amazon:
However quick Google fact check revealed this story is, again, monkey business. Here are some facts about “thumb monkey”, aka “pocket monkey”, aka “pygmy marmoset”:
1) Contrary to condemnation, pygmy marmoset is not endangered or threatened. IUCN conservation status for pygmy marmoset is it’s not threatened in any major way:
Least Concern – Lowest risk; does not qualify for a higher risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category
Seems some just noticed IUCN had a Red List publication for pygmy marmoset and assumed it is endangered, without scrutinizing what the Red List publication actually said:
2) Pygmy marmoset is available for sale in US and UK as pet. Google “pet pygmy marmoset” showed some very ordinary stuff on permitting, sales, and care of this creature. This one I’m most incredulous about – would an endangered spices be so readily available for sale in enlightened first world nations?
In contrast, Google pygmy marmoset with keyword “China” revealed a multitude of vitriol against the evil Chinese, on behalf of this suddenly poor, endangered species. Even worse when adding the keyword “endangered” (note the article count actually goes up):
3) Another fallacy is that pygmy marmoset is illegal in China. Actually importation of exotic mammals are legal in China, subject to quarantine and permitting regulations. It is illegal to circumvent quarantine (which unscrupulous vendors in China, as well as US, UK, do.) Here’s what China’s regulation on Wildlife Domestication and Rearing Permit says:
Article 3 Qualification For Business Entity and Individual To Apply “Wild Life Domesticaiton and Rearing Permit”:
(1) Having permanent location, appropriate and necessary facility, equipment for domestication and rearing the wild animal;
(2) Possessing needed capital, expertise, for domestication and rearing the wild animal;
(3) Gauranteed food supply for domestication and rearing the wild animal.
Here’s a very recent coverage about a company in Hangzhou importing small monkeys, and monkeys passing their 30-day quarantine.
Monkey business, or business as usual? You decide.