CITES Database Reaches Over 25 Million Wildlife Trade Transactions

Published: 09 October 2023

Wildlife Tiger CageThe CITES database is a valuable tool that provides access to international trade transactions in wild fauna and flora species. (Photo: USAID Asia, Flickr, License)

By Lieth Carrillo

More than 25 million wildlife trade transactions have been reported over the past 50 years by signatory parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the world's most comprehensive international wildlife trade organization announced.

The international agreement to protect wildlife from over-exploitation through international trade was signed in 1973 by 80 countries worldwide. The number, meanwhile grew to 183 countries and the European Union. More than 40,900 species, including some 6,610 animals and 34,310 plants, are protected by CITES.

Annually, over 1.5 million records of wildlife trade in CITES-listed species are reported. The records provide details of import, export, or re-export transactions of live or dead CITES-listed animals and plants and their parts and derivatives.

The CITES database is a breakthrough in trade reporting and data digitization. It contains information since 1975. The complete database is operated by the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and is updated annually.

“The CITES Trade Database allows for greater transparency and accessibility to trade data, helping us to discern emerging trends, monitor the sustainability of trade levels at the national, regional, and global scale, and identify potential adverse effects on species survival,” stated Ivonne Higuero, CITES Secretary-General.

The tool is a vital asset to member states and an integral part of the implementation of the Convention, she added.