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Endangered butterflies are being sold for high prices on eBay


DYRYG4 collection of butterfly specimen. Image shot 2012. Exact date unknown.

Many butterfly collectors purchase specimens on eBay

Leo Bild/Alamy

Tens of thousands of butterflies are sold on eBay each year and endangered species covered by trade restrictions command some of the highest prices, an analysis has found.

Zhengyang Wang at Harvard University and his colleagues monitored sales of dead butterflies on eBay for one year starting in September 2020 by automating the search of 150,000 butterfly names – both present and historical – on the site.

The team recorded more than 50,000 transactions involving 3767 species, close to a fifth of all known butterfly …

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