Geneva, 27 November 2023 — At the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP19) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Panama City in 2022, a proposal to include the family of requiem sharks (the family Carcharhinidae) in Appendix II was adopted, which added an additional 54 species of requiem sharks to the CITES Appendices. Prior to CoP19, two species in this family were already included in Appendix II of CITES: the Oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) was included in Appendix II at CoP16 in 2013 with the listing coming into effect on 14 September 2014, and the Silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis) was included in Appendix II at CoP17 in 2016 with the listing coming into effect on 4 October 2017.
The Carcharhinidae family includes species that are ‘critically endangered’ and ‘endangered’ species affected by international trade, mainly in shark fin. This includes species that were listed for “look alike” reasons, meaning there is a close visual resemblance between the most traded forms of the critically endangered and endangered species and are therefore included in the CITES Appendices to ensure that effective control of trade in the species at risk is achieved.
The delays in implementation of these listings provided Parties to CITES with an opportunity to resolve technical and administrative issues related to implementation. CITES export permits or Introduction from the sea (IFS) certificates will be required for the international trade in these newly listed shark species. These permits / certificates must be based on two main findings to be made before the international trade in Appendix II listed species can be authorized: Legal Acquisition Findings (LAF) and Non-detriment Findings (NDF). These two findings ensure that specimens in trade are legally sourced and that the trade is not detrimental to the survival of the species.
As of 25 November 2023, 146 species of sharks and rays (which belong to the same subclass Elasmobranchii) are included in Appendix II. However, all species of sawfishes (which also belong to the subclass Elasmobranchii) are in Appendix I.
The Appendix I listing of the Straw-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus zeylanicus) also came into effect on 25 November 2023. This species of songbird was previously included in Appendix II in 1997. However, a marked population decline across its range in Southeast Asia resulting from its popularity in the songbird trade, compounded by habitat loss, resulted in the adoption of a proposal to transfer it from Appendix II to Appendix I at CoP19. The inclusion of the species in Appendix I will mean that trade in the species should only be authorized in exceptional circumstances.
In December 2023, the Secretariat will host a Workshop on Non-Detriment Findings (NDFs) in Nairobi, Kenya to assist range States in developing NDFs, including for newly listed shark species. The workshop will provide crucial guidance on NDFs to CITES Parties which must make a determination of non-detriment before administering an export permit for specimens of species listed in CITES Appendices I and II.
Later in the month, the Secretariat will host a workshop on songbirds in Bangkok, Thailand to discuss the scale and scope of international songbird trade to consider the management and conservation priorities of songbird taxa involved in such trade. More information can be found on the CITES website: Technical workshop on songbird trade and conservation management.
One year from now, the following CITES listings will be coming into effect on 25 November 2024. Entry into the CITES Appendices was delayed by 24 months:
- Handroanthus spp. #17
- Roseodendron spp. #17
- Tabebuia spp. #17
- Dipteryx spp. #17
The majority of plant species listings included in the CITES Appendices II and III are accompanied by special footnotes called “Annotations.” In the case of the genus listings above, the Annotation #17 defines the following commodities to be covered by each listing: logs, sawn wood, veneer sheets, plywood and transformed wood. These genus level listings include species known to be in trade and others included based on identification difficulties as well as taxonomic and nomenclatural uncertainties.
The genera Handroanthus, Tabebuia and Roseodendron together comprise 113 species of trees (occasionally shrubs) that are distributed in the Americas from Mexico, United States of America (USA) south to Argentina and the Caribbean. The timber, generally traded as “ipê”, is of increasing economic importance as it is hard and durable and is mainly exported as deckings, sawn wood and floorings for use in furniture and construction. Although the known main international trade is in two species (H. serratifolius and H. impetiginosus), the trade name ipê widely refers to any species of the three genera, as timber trade data are generally not recorded at the species level. Distinguishing distinct species of the three genera based on timber is macroscopically and microscopically not possible.
Dipteryx encompassing 14 species of large, canopy emergent, slow growing trees, distributed across Central and South America. The genus is targeted for its valuable hardwood timber (often traded under the names cumaru or shihuahuaco), as well as its seeds, known as tonka beans, which are in demand internationally for use in the fragrance, tobacco and food industries. In several range States, Dipteryx spp. are also locally important for food, traditional medicine, charcoal, oil, and as shade trees in cocoa agroforestry systems. The international market for Dipteryx timber is expanding, and the genus produces some of the most expensive wood in global trade.
CITES Listing Updates:
- Carcharinidae spp. (requiem sharks): 11 Genera and 56 species
- Pycnonotus zeylanicus (straw-headed bulbul) – Appendix I (transfer from Appendix II)
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The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed on 3 March 1973 and entered into force on 1 July 1975. With 184 Parties (183 countries + the European Union), it remains one of the world's most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of international trade in over 40,900 species of wild animals and plants. CITES-listed species are used by people around the world in their daily lives for food, health care, furniture, housing, tourist souvenirs, cosmetics or fashion. CITES seeks to ensure that international trade in such species is sustainable, legal and traceable and contributes to both the livelihoods of the communities that live closest to them and to national economies for a healthy planet and the prosperity of the people in support of UN Sustainable Development Goals.
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