In response to a petition from Guardians, today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized Endangered Species Act protections for five species of Sri Lankan spider. The large, brightly colored spiders are now listed as “endangered” under the Act.
The spiders, members of the genus Poecilotheria, are sought by insect collectors for the pet trade, and their forest habitat in Sri Lanka is shrinking rapidly. Sri Lanka prohibits commercial collection of the spiders, but enforcement is difficult, and even modest numbers of spiders collected from the wild can affect the population.
We hope the protection of these beautiful animals encourages conservation and raises awareness about the perils of the exotic pet trade.
Read the press release.