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Know before you go and ask before you buy!

Be an informed traveler and make sure your choices don't harm endangered animals.

Around the world, you’ll find wildlife and plant products for sale—as jewelry, clothes, pets, souvenirs and more. But just because something is for sale doesn’t mean it’s legal to take home. Some of these products may be made from protected animals or plants and may be illegal to export or import. Other wildlife products may require permits before you can bring them home to the United States or Europe. By making informed choices, you can avoid having your souvenir confiscated or paying a fine— and support wildlife conservation around the world.

Most countries, including the United States, protect their native animals and plants under national laws and through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Signed by more than 180 nations, this treaty supports sustainable trade in wildlife and plants while protecting endangered species.

In addition to international agreements, U.S. and European laws provide even stronger protections for such animals as marine mammals, elephants and wild birds. If the country you’re visiting bans the sale or export of a species, you cannot legally import it here.


To make sure your purchase is legal and properly sourced, ask the seller:

• What is this product made of?

• Where did this product come from?

• Does the country I’m visiting allow the sale and export of this product?

• Do I need permits or other documents from this country or the United States to bring this item home?

USWTA-2017-0006_FINAL-2 TURTLEGreen Pathways guides and travel specialists are always here to provide information on wildlife in Nicaragua and the laws on purchasing certain wildlife and plant based products, Contact us for more information.

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