Major decisions were made at the
CITES CoP18 meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. We are pleased to see action taken on 18 species of sharks and rays, on giraffes, and many more. We've got all the details.
*Journalists: If you're looking for more information on CoP18, you can always call or text us at +1 (347) 840-1242 or email email@example.com.
What's at stake?
Global wildlife trade is a multi-billion dollar a year industry impacting so many species around the world. It is regulated through an international treaty known as CITES.
©Steve De Neef
Total Sweep for Sharks & Rays!
"An historic number of countries today put teeth into efforts to prevent the extinction of 18 species of sharks and rays," said WCS's Luke Warwick.
“We celebrate the successes and strong decisions at CITES CoP18: species received needed trade protections," said WCS's Sue Lieberman. But it's bittersweet, she adds, because they are needed.
Status Quo for Elephants
And that is what needed to happen, says WCS's Sue Lieberman. No international ivory trade is permitted and a call for governments to close domestic markets has been issued.
Good News for Giraffes at CITES CoP18
All 9 subspecies have been given protections. "The giraffe’s future is on the line but we are optimistic for this iconic African species as it becomes listed on Appendix II," said WCS's Liz Bennett.
New Hope For the Prehistoric Saiga Antelope
A CITES committee has voted to keep saiga on Appendix II but now with a zero quota, helping to ensure that international commercial trade will not contribute to further declines of the species.
A Commitment to Halt Rosewood Trafficking
This "has threatened the unique and highly valuable biodiversity of Madagascar’s forests and has undermined governance within the country for far too long," said WCS's Janice Weatherley-Singh.
Efforts to Reduce Trade in Helmeted Hornbill
"WCS appreciates the attention of the CITES parties to the crisis facing the helmeted hornbill," said WCS's Sue Lieberman, "and the actions that range states and consumer states have taken to combat the trafficking in this species."
Key Species Up for Consideration
Over 50 species proposals are being discussed at the CoP18 meeting. Here are some of the decisions you can keep an eye on.
Isurus oxyrinchus and Isurus paucus Include both species in Appendix II
Hyalinobatrachium spp., Centrolene spp., Cochranella spp., and
Sachatamia spp. Include all species in Appendix II
Giraffa camelopardalis Include in Appendix II
Aonyx cinereus, Lutrogale perspicillata Transfer from Appendix II to Appendix I
Malacochersus tornieriTransfer from Appendix II to Appendix I
Guitarfish and Wedgefish
Rhinidae spp. , Glaucostegidae spp. Include in Appendix II
Indian star tortoise
Geochelone elegans Transfer from Appendix II to Appendix I
Loxodonta africana Transfer Zambia population to Appendix II. Amend App. II annotation for populations of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe .
Our positions on species proposals and working documents under consideration at the meeting.
What is CITES and why is it important for conservation? Susan Lieberman, WCS Vice President for International Policy, is a CITES and wildlife trade expert.
Sharks and rays are one of the most endangered groups on the planet. Eighteen species are up for protections
at CoP18. We spoke with WCS's Luke Warwick, Associate Director for Sharks & Rays.
By Liz Bennett Steps to protect two increasingly rare species this week are an important reminder that treating otters as pets harms the iconic animals in the wild. Act Now
By Undark Fears that the tusks are being peddled as elephant ivory have some experts seeking protections for the extinct animal, too. Not everyone agrees. Act Now
By Yovana Murillo This is because of the rise of a deadly skin disease called Mange. Act Now
By Huffington Post "Momentum is building to ensure that these species continue to be around for future generations,” said WCS's Luke Warwick. Act Now
By Forbes "A wide range of member governments realize the need for CITES to regulate the global trade," said WCS's Luke Warwick. Act Now
By BBC "With the new science, fresh in everyone's minds, on these wedgefish and guitarfish, it's clearly last chance saloon for them," said WCS's Luke Warwick. Act Now
By The New York Post "The Wildlife Conservation Society said it was concerned about threats including drought, illegal killings and trade in giraffe body parts." Act Now
By The Independent The latest decision means "no international commercial ivory trade is permitted and that is what needs to happen,” said Sue Lieberman, Act Now
By The New York Times International trade will now be regulated, but habitat loss and bushmeat poaching remain threats. Act Now
By Mongabay "All ivory trade must end if the African elephant is to recover," said WCS's Sue Lieberman. Act Now
By Adrian Reuter A COP 18 proposal aims to include these frogs in Appendix II. Act Now
By The Guardian “We are now optimistic," said WCS's Elizabeth Bennett. Act Now
By The Guardian Songbirds may be silenced if we don’t take action now on their behalf, WCS's Madhu Rao argues. Act Now
By The Guardian "WCS remains concerned about the impact," said WCS's Elizabeth Bennett. Act Now
By Susan Lieberman At CITES gets underway, the many species whose very future on the planet will be debated.
From tusks to tails
By The Associated Press Listing more shark species is one of several measures needed, says WCS's Luke Warwick.
By Susan Lieberman A series of drastic declines in the late 20th century took a toll on the species. Act Now
By Luke Warwick Proposals have been submitted to list a record 18 species of sharks and rays on Appendix II of CITES.
By Luke Warwick Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Mexico are sponsoring overlooked sharks. Act Now
By Luke Warwick WCS partnered with the Maldives Mission to the UN to raise the profile of shark conservation. Act Now
You can read
our cheat sheet about CoP18. Susan Lieberman, WCS Vice President of International Policy and a CITES and wildlife trade expert, is available for comment/interview during the meeting.
Interviews can also be arranged through Mary Dixon, WCS Senior Vice President of Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org; or text through WhatsApp: +1 (347) 840-1242.