Keeping track of the 35,000+ species listed under CITES has now been made easier through
the development of an online database-driven Checklist of CITES species
This state-of-the-art electronic resource provides users with an intuitive interface where queries can be made using not just scientific or common species names but also CITES Appendices, countries or regions, and any combinations thereof. The display of results can be further refined by selecting criteria such as synonyms or authors' names. Users can thus produce a tailored Index of CITES species listing, for instance, all CITES species occurring in a specific country. The history of listing is displayed on screen for each taxon and can be printed off in a single document covering all taxa.
Data from the Checklist of CITES species can now also be downloaded in different formats to facilitate the exchange of data among different information systems. These new formats will allow CITES authorities to update their national checklists easily and as often as necessary, for instance when amendments to Appendix III are made between meetings of the Conference of the Parties. Parties can also use the data in the development of electronic resources that require information on CITES species. Finally, it is also possible to generate the Index of CITES species in PDF for users that prefer information displayed in more traditional formats.
A number of enhancements to the Checklist are planned before the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, in 2016. One of these enhancements will give CITES Management Authorities the possibility to 'pull' the names of species and the Appendices they are included in directly into a CITES electronic permit or certificate. This function will greatly assist in the reduction of errors, thereby making trade easier to monitor and trace.
CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon, in his comments during the launch of the Checklist, stated: “This new database-drivenChecklist of CITES species will enable CITES Parties to better ensure legal and sustainable trade in wildlife. When used with other information systems, users can create new tools that will offer better insights on how to conserve CITES species and use them sustainably .”
This database-driven Checklist was developed for CITES by UNEP-WCMC using data from the CITES species database. The Secretariat is working with UNEP-WCMC on other cutting-edge information tools that will make use of data from the Checklist.
The Checklist of CITES species is available at: http://checklist.cites.org.