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    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) regulates international legal trade to prevent the detrimental harvest of wildlife. We assess the volumes of threatened and non-threatened bird, mammal, amphibian, and reptile species in the CITES-managed trade and how this trade responded to category changes of species in the IUCN Red List between 2000 and 2018. In this period, over a thousand wild-sourced vertebrate species were commercially traded. Species of least conservation concern had the highest yearly trade volumes (excluding birds), whereas species in most Red List categories showed an overall decrease in trade reoccurrence and volume through time, with most species unlikely to reoccur in recent trade. Charismatic species with populations split-listed between Appendices I and II were traded in substantially lower yearly volumes when sourced from the more-threatened Appendix I populations. Species trade volumes did not systematically respond to changes in the Red List category, with 31.0% of species disappearing from trade before changing category and the majority of species revealing no difference in trade volumes from pre- to post-change. Just 2.7% (12/432) of species volumes declined and 2.1% (9/432) of volumes increased after a category change. Our findings highlight that non-threatened species dominate trade but reveal small numbers of highly threatened species in trade and a disconnect between species trade volumes and changing extinction risk. We highlight potential drawbacks in the current regulation of trade in listed species and urgently call for open and accessible assessments-non-detriment findings-robustly evidencing the sustainable use of threatened and non-threatened species alike. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Oscar Morton, Brett R Scheffers, Torbjørn Haugaasen, David P Edwards. Mixed protection of threatened species traded under CITES. Current biology : CB. 2022 Mar 14;32(5):999-1009.e9

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    PMID: 35090593

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