U.S. Considering Proposals to Amend International Wildlife Trade Rules
The Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting through Oct. 26 comments on proposed amendments to the appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora that the U.S. might submit for consideration at the 17th meeting of the conference of the parties to CITES, which is slated to be held Sept. 24-Oct. 5, 2016, in South Africa.
CITES controls and regulates international trade in certain animal and plant species that are affected by trade and are now, or potentially may become, threatened with extinction. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction in which trade is generally prohibited. Appendix II includes (a) species not necessarily threatened with extinction but in which trade is strictly controlled to prevent them from becoming so and (b) species that must be subject to regulation so that trade in other CITES-listed species may be brought under effective control. Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country that has asked CITES parties for assistance in controlling trade.
The FWS states that the U.S. is likely to develop and submit the following proposals.
- saw-toothed Lewisia (Lewisia serrata) – potential amendment to Appendix II listing
- fishhook cactus (Sclerocactus spp.) – potential amendments to Appendix I and Appendix II listings
- Wabash riffleshell (Epioblasma sampsonii) – potential amendment to Appendix I listing
- Puerto Rican boa (Epicrates inornatus) – amendment to Appendix I listing
- Caribbean monk seal (Monachus tropicalis) – potential amendment to Appendix I listing
- Guam flying fox (Pteropus tokudae) – potential amendment to Appendix II listing
- Eastern cougar (Puma concolor cougar) and Florida panther (P. concolor coryi) – potential
amendments to Appendix I and Appendix II listings
- polar bear (Ursus maritimus) – transfer from Appendix II to Appendix I
In addition, the U.S. is still undecided on whether to submit proposals for the following: sea cucumbers native to the U.S., chambered nautiluses, red and pink corals, American eel, lined seahorse, dwarf seahorse, devil rays, Chaco side-necked turtle, African and Middle Eastern softshell turtles, African pygmy chameleons, four species of bird of paradise, African grey parrot, pangolins, narwhal and African lion.