Background

The Fish and Wildlife Service reports that the U.S. is supporting the following proposals to revise international wildlife trade restrictions that will be considered at the 18th meeting of the conference of the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

- move the saiga antelope and pancake tortoise from Appendix II to Appendix I

- consider providing Appendix I protections to various species of otters, black-crowned cranes, butterflies, lizards, geckos, and turtles

- add the tokay gecko, ornamental/parachute spider/tarantula species, and three species of sea cucumber to Appendix II

- consider Appendix II protections for giraffes and several species of trees

- establish a three-year process for developing a framework for CITES capacity-building efforts

- amend CITES rules on due diligence and importing country obligations

- collect data on trade in songbirds, marine ornamental fishes, and frankincense to determine whether species currently in trade need to be listed

- ensure sustainable trade in seahorses

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.

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