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Outputs

Visit the Species+ website

See the Checklist of CITES Species 

Can we help you?

The problem

CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, is an international agreement between governments which aims to ensure that international trade in animals and plants does not threaten the survival of species in the wild. CITES protects tens of thousands of species from over-exploitation through international trade. These species are listed in three CITES Appendices, based on the degree of protection required. Efficient access to these Appendices – and to information on species listed in other Multilateral Environmental Agreements such as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) – is critical for managing endangered and threatened species.

However, until recently, access to these data sets has been limited, and it was not possible to generate downloadable lists of species organized by country of occurrence. Every time a new species was added to the CITES Appendices, each country or region that implements the Convention had to update their own systems independently. This resulted in a lack of consistency across countries, and innovative developments – such as the electronic issue of trade permits and automation of reporting processes – have been difficult to progress.  

Our solution & impact

Species+, developed by UNEP-WCMC and the CITES Secretariat, provides a centralized portal for accessing key information on these species. It contains information about the taxonomy, legislation, distribution and relevant trade restrictions for all species that are listed in the Appendices of CITES and CMS, as well as those covered by the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations.

Two user-friendly websites ­– Species+ and the Checklist of CITES Species – were launched in 2013 to provide access to this information. Species lists are available for download by CITES Parties and the general public, including traders and scientific institutions. Species+ will also form the basis for future computer-to-computer communication to provide options for synchronizing national systems with the official CITES species lists across the world.

Species+ provides consistent access to the official Checklist of CITES Species. It will help Parties meet their international commitments by providing them with easy access to the information they need to issue permits for trade on a daily basis, thereby facilitating the effective management of species and ensuring that trade in CITES-listed species is legal, traceable and sustainable. In addition it will help signatory countries to manage migratory species in line with their commitments to CMS.

Expertise & Team

Our team brings a unique combination of scientific and technical expertise in the diverse fields of international wildlife trade, taxonomy and biodiversity conventions, and the design, building and management of online databases, portals and tools.

Project Leader Kelly Malsch works with Product Manager Simão Belchior de Castro and Web Developer Agnieszka Figiel to keep the websites up to date, accurate and easy to use.  

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Kelly Malsch

Senior Programme Officer

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Agnieszka Figiel

Ruby on Rails Developer

Partners & Donors

Species+ has been developed by UNEP-WCMC in a joint project with the CITES Secretariat to provide services for the CITES Secretariat, the European Union, and the CMS Secretariat. The project was funded by the CITES Secretariat, The European Union, UNEP and WCMC (the UK Charity). The project would not be possible without the long-term support of data providers.