CITES database reveals red sanders smuggling


  • The CITES trade database has recorded 28 incidents of red sanders confiscation, seizure and specimens from the wild being exported from India, a fact sheet prepared by TRAFFIC, a global wildlife trade monitoring organisation has revealed.
  • These consignments were exported to China (53.5%), Hong Kong (25.0%), Singapore (17.8%) and the United States of America (3.5%) from 2016 to 2020.

Facts about Red sanders:

  • Red Sanders or red sandalwood, is an endemic tree species with distribution restricted to the Eastern Ghats of India.
  • It is a very slow­growing tree species that attains maturity in natural forests after 25­40 years.
  • The species found in Andhra Pradesh and growing up to a height of 10 to 15 metres is reported to be one of India’s most exploited tree species.
  • The species is under severe pressure from illegal logging and harvesting.
  • Under the foreign trade policy of India, the import of Red Sanders is prohibited, while export is restricted.
  • China remains the largest importer with more than 13,618 tonnes of the products, followed by Hong Kong (5,215 tonnes) and Singapore (216 tonnes).
  • It is in high demand in both domestic and international markets.
  • It is used to make furniture and handicrafts, while the red dye obtained from the wood is used as a colouring agent in textiles and medicines.

Conservation status:

  • IUCN status: Endangered
  • WPA 1972: Schedule IV
  • CITES: Appendix II

More about CITES:

  • CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments, whose aim is to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species.

Syllabus: Prelims; Environment

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