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The Asian three-striped box turtle, one of the most critically endangered freshwater turtles in Asia.
An international trade body has decided to remove much of the bureaucracy that currently hinders the shipment of biological samples for research on endangered species.

Many scientists have welcomed the new resolution, adopted during a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Santiago, Chile, because it will greatly simplify the process of obtaining samples.

But the proposal has encountered strong opposition from such countries as Mexico, Brazil and China, which feared it could allow uncontrolled access to genetic resources.

Reference: Science 298, 1539 (2002)

Photo credit: © Kurt A. Buhlmann