Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter, 2000, 4:20-22
© 2000 by Chelonian Research Foundation

Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter

Request for Information and Recommendations on Species
To Consider for Changes to the CITES Appendices

[Federal Register: June 12, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 113)]
[Page 31686-31690]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access
Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Request for information.

SUMMARY: In order to implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Parties to the Treaty periodically meet to review which species in international trade should be regulated, and other aspects of implementation of the treaty. We have been informed that the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (COP12) will be held in November 2002, in Santiago, Chile. We are, therefore, soliciting recommendations for amending Appendices I and II of CITES at COP12. We invite information and comment from the public on animal and plant species that should be considered as candidates for U.S. proposals to amend CITES Appendix I or II. Such amendments may concern the addition of species to Appendix I or II, the transfer of species from one Appendix to another, or the removal of species from Appendix II. We are also seeking information and comment from the public on the biological and trade status of selected species identified at the end of this notice.

DATES: We will consider all information and comments received by August 13, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Send correspondence concerning this request pertaining to species amendments to: Chief, Division of Scientific Authority; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 750; Arlington, Virginia 22203-1610, or via E-mail to: fw9ia— Comments and materials received will be available for public inspection by appointment from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mon.-Fri., at the Division of Scientific Authority.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Susan Lieberman, Chief, Division of Scientific Authority, phone 703-358-1708, fax 703-358-2276, E-mail:


The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, (hereinafter referred to as CITES or the Convention), is an international treaty designed to control and regulate international trade in certain animal and plant species that are now or potentially may become threatened with extinction. These species are listed in the Appendices to CITES. You may obtain copies of the list of CITES species, and the text of the treaty, from the Division of Scientific Authority at the above address, from our web site, or from the official CITES Secretariat web site at

Currently 152 countries, including the United States, are Parties (i.e., a country that has acceded to the treaty) to the Convention. The treaty states that a biennial meeting of the Conference of the Parties will be held to consider amendments to the list of species in Appendices I and II, review issues pertaining to CITES implementation, make provisions enabling the CITES Secretariat in Switzerland to carry out its functions, consider reports presented by the Secretariat, and make recommendations for the improved effectiveness of CITES. Any country that is a Party to CITES may propose and vote on amendments to Appendices I and II (species proposals), resolutions, decisions, discussion papers, and agenda items for consideration at biennial meetings of the Conference of the Parties. The text of any proposal must be submitted to the CITES Secretariat at least 150 days before the meeting. The Secretariat must then consult the other Parties and appropriate intergovernmental agencies, and communicate their responses to all Parties no later than 30 days before the meeting.

This is the first in a series of Federal Register notices that, together with announced public meetings, provide an opportunity for the public to participate in the development of the United States negotiating positions for the twelfth regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (COP12). Our regulations governing this public process are found in 50 CFR 23.31-23.39. We have been informed that COP12 will be held in November 2002, in Santiago, Chile.

Request for Information and Comments
One of the purposes of this first notice is to solicit information that will help us identify species that the United States should propose as candidates for addition, removal, or reclassification in the CITES Appendices, or to identify issues warranting attention by the CITES Nomenclature Committee. This request is not limited to species occurring in the United States. Any Party may submit proposals concerning animal or plant species occurring in the wild anywhere in the world. We encourage the submission of information on species for possible inclusion in the Appendices if these species are subject to international trade that may be detrimentally impacting the status of the species. Complete proposals are not being requested at this time, but are always welcome. Rather, we are asking interested persons to submit convincing information describing: (1) The status of the species, especially trend information; (2) conservation and management programs for the species, including the effectiveness of enforcement efforts; and (3) the level of domestic as well as international trade in the species, especially trend information. Any other relevant information can also be provided. References are appreciated.

The term “species” is defined in CITES as “any species, subspecies, or geographically separate population thereof.” Each species for which trade is controlled is included in one of three Appendices, either as a separate listing or incorporated within the listing of a higher taxon. The basic standards for inclusion of species in the Appendices are contained in Article II of CITES. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction that are or may be affected by trade. Appendix II includes species that, although not necessarily now threatened with extinction, may become so unless trade in them is strictly controlled. Appendix II also lists species that must be subject to regulation in order that trade in other CITES-listed species may be brought under effective control. Such listings frequently are required because of difficulty in distinguishing specimens of currently or potentially threatened species from other species at ports of entry. Appendix III includes species that any Party country identifies as being subject to regulation within its jurisdiction for purposes of preventing or restricting exploitation and for which it needs the cooperation of other Parties to control trade. Since species are listed in Appendix III unilaterally by any country, we are not seeking input on possible U.S. Appendix-III listings in this Notice.

CITES specifies that international trade in any readily recognizable part or derivative of animals listed in Appendix I or II, or plants listed in Appendix I, is subject to the same conditions that apply to trade in the whole organism. With certain standard exclusions formally approved by the Parties, the same applies to the readily recognizable parts and derivatives of most plant species listed in Appendix II. Parts and derivatives usually not included (i.e., not regulated) for Appendix-II plants are: Seeds, spores, pollen (including pollinia), and seedling or tissue cultures obtained in vitro and transported in sterile containers. You may refer to 50 CFR 23.23(d), and the October 6, 1995, Federal Register (60 FR 52450) and February 22, 1996, Federal Register (61 FR 6793) for further exceptions and limitations.

In 1994, the CITES Parties adopted criteria for inclusion of species in Appendices I and II (in Resolution Conf. 9.24). These criteria apply to all listing proposals and are available from CITES Secretariat web site (, or upon request from the Division of Scientific Authority. Resolution Conf. 9.24 also established a format for complete proposals.

What Information Should Be Submitted?
In response to this Notice, to provide us information on species subject to international trade for possible proposals to amend the Appendices, please include as much of the following information as possible in your submission:
(1) Scientific name and common name;
(2) Population size estimates (with references if available);
(3) Population trend information;
(4) Threats to species status (other than from trade);
(5) Level/trend of international trade (as specific as possible but without a request for new searches of Service records);
(6) Level/trend in total take from the wild (as specific as reasonable); and
(7) Short summary statement clearly presenting the rationale for inclusion in or delisting from one of the Appendices, including which of the criteria in Resolution Conf. 9.24 are met.

If you wish to submit more complete proposals for us to consider, please consult Resolution Conf. 9.24 for the format for proposals and a detailed explanation of each of the categories. Proposals to transfer a species from Appendix I to Appendix II, or to remove a species from Appendix II, must also be in accordance with the precautionary measures described in Annex 4 of Resolution Conf. 9.24. If you have information and comments on species that are potential candidates for CITES proposals, we encourage you to contact our Division of Scientific Authority.

What Will We Do With the Information We Receive?
One important function of the CITES Scientific Authority of each country is the monitoring of international trade in plant and animal species, and ongoing scientific assessments of the impact of that trade on species. For native U.S. species, we monitor trade and export permits we authorize, to be assured that trade remains sustainable (for Appendix-II species). We also work closely with our States, to be assured that species are correctly listed in the CITES Appendices (or not listed, if a listing is not warranted). We actively seek information about U.S. and foreign species subject to international trade. The information submitted will help us monitor trade and its impact, as well as help us decide if we should submit or co-sponsor a proposal to amend the CITES Appendices. However, there may be species that qualify for CITES listing for which we decide not to submit a proposal to COP12. Our decision will be based on a number of factors, including scientific and trade information, whether or not the species is native to the United States and, for foreign species, whether or not a proposal is supported or co-sponsored by at least one range country for the species. We will consult range countries for foreign species, and for species we share with other countries, subsequent to receiving and analyzing the information provided by the public. The lists that follow includes species that we are considering based on our monitoring efforts since COP11. Proposals for some of the species on this list were submitted or co-sponsored by the United States at COP11, but were not adopted for a number of reasons. We encourage the submission by the public of any new scientific or trade information on these species so that we can decide if we will or will not re-submit proposals for them. Including a species here does not mean that we will necessarily submit a proposal for it. For native U.S. species, we will share information provided to us with the States, to assist them with their management of the species, and to enable a productive State-Federal dialogue on whether or not CITES listing would assist the States in the conservation of these species.

There may be species which meet the criteria for CITES Appendix I or II but do not appear in the lists below because of inadequate or anecdotal information in our records. We will continue to consult with other Federal and State agencies, academia, the public, and other countries to obtain information on additional species that may qualify for CITES listing and will report our findings in subsequent Federal Register notices prior to COP12.

What Species are We Considering for Proposals, and for Which Species are We Requesting Additional Information?

Animals (note: only reptiles have been reprinted here)
We solicit information on the biological and trade status of the taxa in Table 1, and whether or not they meet the CITES criteria for listing in Appendix II.

We solicit information on the biological and trade status of the following species (Table 2), and whether or not they meet the CITES criteria for removal from Appendix II.

We solicit information on the biological and trade status of the reptile taxa in Table 3, and whether or not they meet the CITES criteria for transfer to or listing in Appendix I.

Editors’ note: For the plant listings and other animal species please refer to the original Federal register announcement.