Over 38,700 species – including roughly 5,950 species of animals and 32,800 species of plants – are protected by CITES against over-exploitation through international trade. They are listed in the three CITES Appendices. The species are grouped in the Appendices according to how threatened they are by international trade. They include some whole groups, such as primates, cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), sea turtles, parrots, corals, cacti and orchids. But in some cases only a subspecies or geographically separate population of a species (for example the population of just one country) is listed. The table below shows the approximate numbers of species that are included in the CITES Appendices as of 26 November 2019*. The abbreviation "spp." is used to denote species; "sspp." for subspecies; “var.” for varieties; "popns" for populations.
|Appendix I||Appendix II||Appendix III|
|Mammals||325 spp. (incl. 21 popns) + 13 sspp. (incl. 1 popn)||523 spp. (incl. 20 popns) + 9 sspp. (incl. 4 popns)||46 spp. + 11 sspp.|
|Birds||155 spp. (incl. 2 popns) + 7 sspp.||1279 spp. (incl. 1 popn) + 5 sspp.||27 spp.|
|Reptiles||98 spp. (incl. 7 popns) + 5 sspp.||777 spp. (incl. 6 popns)||79 spp.|
|Amphibians||24 spp.||173 spp.||4 spp.|
|Fish||16 spp.||114 spp.||24 spp. (incl. 15 popns)|
|Invertebrates||69 spp. + 7 sspp.||2190 spp. + 1 sspp.||22 spp. + 3 sspp.|
|FAUNA TOTAL||687 spp. + 32 sspp.||5056 spp. + 15 sspp.||202 spp. + 14 sspp.|
|FLORA||395 spp. + 4 sspp.||32364 spp. (incl. 109 popns)||9 spp. + 1 var.|
|GRAND TOTAL||1082 spp. + 36 sspp.||37420 spp. + 15 sspp.||211 spp. + 14 sspp. + 1 var.|
Any type of wild plant or animal may be included in the list of species protected by CITES [see Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP17) and the range of wildlife species included in the Appendices extends from leeches to lions and from pine trees to pitcher plants. While the more charismatic creatures, such as bears and whales, may be the better known examples of CITES species, the most numerous groups include many less popularized plants and animals, such as aloes, corals, mussels and frogs.