CITES CoP16: March 8, 2013
The action today was in Committee II where trade sanctions against Vietnam were called for “until such time as they take measures to control the illicit trade in rhino horn.”A Working Group was formed and their recommendations may be available next week. Conservation and trade in Great Apes. In late 2012 the Secretariat arranged technical missions to the range states of Cameroon, Uganda and Gabon to gain an overview of the trade, as well as the illicit trade. The factors affecting great apes are habitat loss, poaching, trade in body parts and regional instability. The missions found that trade in great apes is limited, but little was found as regards the legal domestic trade. Species-specific identification of bushmeat is still difficult. Uganda, home of two of the four species of great apes, was commended for its development of tourism, and reported that the numbers of great apes in their country is increasing. Cameroon was encouraged to develop more effective border control; and Cameroon reported that they have arrested and jailed many in the illicit trade.
Asian big cats. Discussion was suspended, and two documents concerning Elephants, were sent to Working Groups.
Illegal trade in Cheetahs. The cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, has been on Appendix I since 1975. Ethiopia proposed a draft decision to study the legal and illegal trade in wild cheetahs and its impact on the species. In 2011 alone, 27 cases of illegal trade were reported, involving 70 cheetahs.
Meanwhile, Committee I was considering proposals on Reptiles and Amphibians.
The morning session opened with debate on Proposal 23, American crocodile, Crocodylus acutus, submitted by Colombia, to transfer the species from Appendix I to Appendix II. The vote was 57 in favor, 50 opposed and 16 abstentions. The proposal was rejected.
Proposal 24. Thailand proposed the Saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, be transferred from Appendix I to Appendix II, with zero quota for wild specimens. Supported by Gambia, Philippines. The USA and Australia opposed. Of the 813 captive breeding facilities, only 13 meet Appendix II criteria. Thailand requested a vote by secret ballot. The vote was 61 (53.04%) in favor, 54 (46.96%) opposed, and 6 abstentions. The proposal was rejected.
Proposal 25: Thailand proposed transfer of the Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) from Appendix I to Appendix II, with a zero quota for wild specimens. Thailand has 850 crocodile farms which have contributed to recovery of the species in the wild. The proposal was supported by Gambia, Vietnam, Ecuador, Pakistan, Uganda, Madagasgar, Colombia, Laos, Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, China, Singapore, Nigeria, Qatar, Brazil, Bhutan, Senegal, and Egypt. The USA, Switzerland and Ireland (on behalf of the European Union) opposed, noting that the wild population is still very small, meets the criteria for Appendix I, and is still in need of protection accorded by Appendix I. The vote was 69 in favor, 49 opposed, and 11 abstentions. The 2/3rd majority was not achieved and the proposal was rejected.
Proposal 26. New Zealand proposed transfer of all nine species green geckos, Naultinusspp, from Appendix III to Appendix II. Considered the world’s most beautiful geckos, they are highly prized in the reptile industry. They do not breed well in captivity (many captures are of pregnant females) and, due to international trade, there has been a 95% decline in wild specimens. The proposal was adopted by consensus.
Proposal 27. China proposed inclusion of the Mangshan pit viper, Protobothrops mangshanensis, in Appendix II. This newly-discovered viper is critically endangered. The snake has a very limited range, illegally harvested for the international pet trade and is being sold on the black market. The proposal was adopted by consensus.
Proposal 28. The USA proposed the RotiIsland snake-necked turtle, Chelodina mccordi, be transferred from Appendix II to Appendix I. The IUCN Red List classifies this species as critically endangered, and the species at a high risk of extinction. Indonesia proposed an amendment to the proposal: The species remain in Appendix II with a zero quota of specimens taken from the wild. The proposal was adopted by consensus.
Proposal 29. The USA proposed the Spotted turtle, Clemmys guttata, for inclusion in Appendix II. The small populations of this species are declining, and international trade poses a serious threat. The proposal was adopted by consensus.
Proposal 30. The USA proposed Blanding’s turtle, Emydoidea blandingii, for inclusion in Appendix II. The small size of some subpopulations, the species restricted and fragmented distribution, low reproductive rate, and international trade meet the criteria for the listing. The proposal was adopted by consensus.
Proposal 31. The USA proposed the Diamondback terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin, for inclusion in Appendix II. The significant decline in the wild population and international trade put it at risk. The proposal was adopted by consensus.
Proposal 32. China and the USA proposed 17 species of Freshwater box turtles, for inclusion in Appendix II, with a zero quota for wild specimens of the three species already listed on Appendix II or proposed for Appendix I. The listings were approved.
Proposal 33. Vietnam proposed the Indochinese box turtle, Cuora gaibinfrons, for transfer from Appendix II to Appendix I. There has been a severe decline in wild population size and international trade poses a serious threat to the species. The proposal was not considered.
Proposal 34. Japan proposed the Ryuku black-breasted leaf turle, Geoemyda japonica, for inclusion in Appendix II with a zero quota of wild-caught specimens for primarily commercial purposes. The price for a single specimen is currently US$2,750. The proposal was not considered.
Proposal 35. Vietnam proposed the Annam leaf turtle, Mauremys annamensis, be transferred from Appendix II to Appendix I. The species is considered one of the 25 most endangered turtle species with an extremely high risk of extinction. The proposal was not considered.
Proposal 36. The USA and Vietnam proposed the Big-headed turtle, Platysternidae, be transferred from Appendix II to Appendix I. The species is highly vulnerable due to low reproductive rate and is threatened by international trade. Proposal accepted by consensus.
Proposal 37. The USA proposed the Burmese star tortoise, Geochelone platynota, be transferred from Appendix II to Appendix I. This is one of the rarest tortoises in the world and, considered critically endangered since 1996, it is at high risk of extinction. Proposal accepted by consensus.
Proposal 38. The USA and China proposed the Softshell turtles be transferred from Appendix II to Appendix I. Proposal accepted by consensus.
Proposal 39. Ecuador proposed the Machalilla frog, Epipedobates machalilla, be included in Appendix II. Proposal accepted by consensus.
Proposal 40. Australia proposed the Southern gastric-brooding frog, Rheobatrachus silus, be deleted from Appendix II. Discovered in 1972; last known specimen died in captivity in 1983. Proposal accepted by consensus.
Proposal 41. Australia proposed the Northern gastric-brooding frog, Rheobatrachus vitellinus, be deleted from Appendix II. Discovered in 1984; declared extinct in 2004. Proposal accepted by consensus.
The shark proposals are scheduled to be heard Monday morning. . .