Over 900 at-risk species lack global protection

Species likely imperiled by illegal wildlife trade are not all protected by international safeguards

More than 900 species that suffer from the global trade in wildlife parts may lack key international protection. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an agreement between signing countries that limits or bans the international trade of species once listed there. But researchers combed through vulnerable species listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, searching for those affected by illegal wildlife trade. They found that 904 organisms on the Red List lacked CITES protection, including some 370 species listed by the IUCN as endangered or critically endangered. Unprotected but trafficked species included species like Owston’s palm civet (Chrotogale owstoni) and the greater green leafbird (Chloropsis sonnerati), as well as many species of fish and plants.

Read the study at Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Header Image: Greater green leafbirds are among those species that lack protection under CITES. Credit: Nina Hale