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June 5, 2012

HSI Trains Officials to Help Illegally Traded Wildlife in El Salvador

Local instructors impart HSI’s animal handling curriculum to their peers

Humane Society International

  • Illegal trade represents a considerable threat to all wildlife. HSI

SONSONATE, El Salvador  — Humane Society International, the international affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State and the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería, El Salvador’s CITES administrative authority, hosted a day-long workshop on best practices for the handling of confiscated wildlife in Sonsonate, El Salvador.

The workshop took place at the Sonsonate University in celebration of World Environment Day. A total of to 20 participants received the training, including members of the police force and customs officials, as well as personnel from governmental ministries involved in the confiscation and handling of illegally traded wildlife. Local instructors, previously trained by HSI conducted the workshop.

“Ensuring the adequate handling, feeding and transportation of confiscated wildlife is crucial to increase the possibilities of these animals being successfully rehabilitated and released back into their habitat,” said Cynthia Dent, regional director for HSI-Latin America. “Training in humane animal handling techniques empowers local authorities, especially those working along border areas where illegal wildlife trade is prevalent, to achieve these goals.”     

The program was part of a series of workshops that builds upon previous training sessions conducted throughout the countries of the region to create a sustainable means of instruction for stakeholders involved in the protection of wildlife. In addition to El Salvador, this new series has already reached Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica and will continue with workshops scheduled for the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua in the coming months.


  • Ever since entering into force, CITES has been the only international agreement that regulates international trade in wild species. To date175 nations (Parties) have signed and ratified the CITES treaty. El Salvador has been a Party to CITES since 1987.
  • El Salvador is home to more than 500 species of birds, almost 1,000 species of butterflies and more than 800 species of marine fish.
  • Other species native to El Salvador, such as the Monte Cristo Arboreal Alligator Lizard (Abronia montecristoi) the Arcane Spikethumb Frog (Plectrohyla sagorum), and the yellowback spiny-tailed iguana (Ctenosaura flavidorsalis) are currently listed in the IUCN Red List as endangered.
  • The illegal trade in wildlife is estimated to be more than $10 billion annually, surpassed only by the illegal trade in drugs and arms.


Media Contact:  Raúl Arce-Contreras; (301) 721-6440, rcontreras@humanesociety.org.

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the Web at hsi.org.