The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has published its first report on the legal global wildlife trade. The report explores the routes, scale and patterns of international trade in CITES-listed species, along with the conservation impacts, the socio-economic aspects of this trade and the linkages between legal and illegal trade.
The report estimates the global wildlife trade at $220 billion a year, led by Asian and European imports and exports. Sales of reptiles and fish led animal commodities. Most trade involved captive animals and cultivated plants.
The document draws on millions of records, including more than 1.2 million CITES trade permits issued annually. It is being launched at the CITES CoP19 World Wildlife Conference in Panama.
International trade of species protected by the CITES treaty is generally prohibited, but commercial trade in 97% of the species is allowed.