CITES Wiki Identification Manual

The CITES Identification Manual is a collection of data sheets designed to help identify various species of fauna and flora with drawings (black and white), photographs, maps and concise descriptions. It is a useful tool for CITES Management and Scientific Authorities, Customs officials, and all others involved in implementing and enforcing CITES.

The Identification Manual was initiated in 1977 and was first published in print (paper) format. In it was developed into an online resource as the Wiki CITES Identification Manual, where users could both search for and add (or modify) identification content.

With the ever-changing landscape of species identification and the diversifying needs of users, the Secretariat and the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) have developed a new tool aimed at improving and promoting the availability of the CITES Identification Manual, as well as other identification materials on CITES-listed species. This was made possible with the financial support from the European Union.

The individual volumes of the CITES Identification Manual are available on the Checklist of CITES species, as well as over 4,000 identification resources.

They can be accessed in three main formats:

a) The full set of the CITES Identification Manual or any of its six constituent volumes can be accessed by clicking the “CITES Identification Manual” download button under “Featured” in the right-hand panel of the Checklist site.

b) Individual sheets of the CITES Identification Manual hosted on the CITES Virtual College can be searched by individual taxon entries. These sheets become available when users expand the “Show More” component to show the timeline and identification materials underneath.

c) Customizable PDFs of CITES Identification Manual sheets for specific taxonomic groups, locations or Appendices are accessible from the “Download” button on the right-hand panel. This is the best download type for users wanting to access materials for a select group of species (e.g. seahorses) or a specific taxonomic group from a specific location (e.g. cacti of Mexico).

A full guide to accessing the materials can be found on the “About page” of the CITES Checklist.