Authorities vigilant to prevent wildlife smuggling during holiday

March 20, 2013

Officials from the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) will perform surveillance operations during Easter Holy Week on roads throughout  the country in order to avoid the extraction, hunting, illegal transportation or trade of species of flora and fauna.

The operations aim to prevent endangered species from being taken out of their natural habitat by vacationers next week, when most Ticos take time off to visit tourist destinations.

According to Costa Rica’s new Wildlife Law – approved last October – people caught buying or selling wildlife species could face sanctions that include imprisonment of one to three years, fines and confiscation of the species.

The law sets fines for sport hunters of up to ₡1.5 million ($3,000) and up to ₡900,000 ($1,800) for people caught trafficking wildlife species.

Those who kill animals or destroy nests or natural habitats also will face the same consequences.

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