Star tortoise, otters get higher protection at CITES

  1. India’s proposal to upgrade the protection of star tortoises, the smooth-coated otter and small-clawed otters in CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species on Wild Fauna and Flora) have been approved. These species have been listed under Appendix I of CITES.  There will be a complete international ban enforced on their trade.
  2. The decision was taken at the ongoing CoP 18 of CITES being held in Geneva, Switzerland.
  3. CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. It aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
  4. CITES was drafted after a resolution was adopted at a meeting of the members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1963. The text of the Convention was agreed at a meeting in Washington, DC in 1973; the Convention. The Convention is therefore sometimes referred to as the Washington Convention. CITES entered into force in 1975. At present it has 183 countries.
  5. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
  6. Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.
  7. Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade.
  8. Indian Star Tortoise Smooth-coated Otter and small clawed otter are listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red list.