The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between governments that came into force in 1975. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. CITES currently has 177 Parties.
The Convention's three appendices list species afforded different levels or types of protection from over-exploitation (click here). Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals and plants. Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled. Appendix III is a list of species included at the request of a Party that already regulates trade in the species and that needs the cooperation of other countries to prevent unsustainable or illegal exploitation.
The only procellariiform seabird currently listed within CITES is the ACAP-listed Vulnerable Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastria albatrus, listed in Appendix I on 1 July 1975 from the date the Convention came into force. Practically the total population of the Short-tailed Albatross breeds within Japan, which became a Party to CITES in 1980.
Trade in the 30 species of ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels is a thing of the past and it is now a long time since the slowly-recovering Short-tailed Albatross was exploited to near-extinction for its feathers during the 19th and first half of the 20th Centuries.
Short-tailed Albatross. Photograph by Aleks Terauds
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 8 January 2013