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African Manatee Proposal to CITES

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is an agreement between governments to ensure that trade of animals and plants does not threaten their survival (I got that wording from their website because I couldn’t have said it better myself!). For endangered species, legal international trade (which includes both commercial trade as well as import/export for scientific study, educational purposes, etc.) requires obtaining an export permit from the country the wildlife originates from, and an import permit to bring it to another country. CITES also works to try to stop illegal wildlife trade by agreeing upon regulations that are agreed upon by their 177 member countries. Every few years they hold a Conference of Parties to review and vote upon proposals to update species regulatory status. This year the conference is in March in Bangkok, Thailand, and there’s a proposal to uplist the African manatee from Appendix II to Appendix I, meaning that there is a request to increase restrictions on trade for African manatees.

The co-chairs of the Sirenian Specialist Group have written a very strong and eloquent letter to CITES in support of raising the African manatee to CITES (to read it click here)

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