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Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

Page history last edited by kellikara1@... 10 years, 10 months ago

What is CITES?

-An international agreement between governments

-Goal: To ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. 

-Protects more than 4,800 animal species and 25,000 plant species.

International Trade

-International wildlife trade is worth billions of dollars.

-Trade ranges from live animals and plants to their by-products, exotic leather goods, wooden musical instruments, timber, and medicines.

-High exploitation and habitat loss can deplete populations.

-Ensures sustainability of trade to protect our future resources.

Levels of Protection

-Appendix I: Species most endangered or threatened with extinction. 

-Prohibited in international trade except under non-commercial purposes like scientific research. Examples include gorillas, tigers, and lions.

-Appendix II: Species not threatened with extinction but may be unless trade is closely controlled.  This also includes species similar in appearance to others listed.

-Must have an export permit to trade.  Examples include the American black bear and the green iguana.

 -Appendix III: Species’ whose trade is regulated in multiple nations.

-Not threatened globally.  Examples include the two-toed sloth and the alligator snapping turtle.

Year of Enactment

-July 1, 1975

-Representatives of the World Conservation Union met in Washington, D.C. to form a Convention listing the rules of protection for traded species.

-169 countries are currently involved with the program, including the United States.

Why Was CITES Created?

-Growing global environmental awareness

-Trade led to population declines: spotted cats (fur), rhinos (horn), elephants and walrus (ivory), parrots (pet trade), sharks (fins).

-The Convention created a permit system for the regulated trade of plant and animal species to minimize exploitation.

-Management Authority: Administers the licensing system for trade

-Scientific Authority: Provide advice about the effects of trade on the status of species.

Controversy

-Does not address habitat loss, ecosystem approaches to conservation, or poverty.

-Prevents unsustainable use of trade rather than promoting sustainable use.

-Monitors on a “negative list”; thus, trade is permitted and unregulated unless species appear in the Appendices of the Convention.  The system should examine all animals for endangerment and only allow the trade of abundant species.

Impact

-Improvement in management and regulation of trade in species.

-More than 30,000 species have been listed in its Appendices from tigers and elephants to mahogany and orchids.

-Banned trade in rhino horns and increased their life spans.

-Banned ivory trade in 1989, which once led to a decline in elephant populations in Africa in the 1970s and 1980s.

-Reduced poaching

-Restricted wild pet trade due to biological invasion

            -Parrots, pythons, sea horses for private aquariums.

 

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