The CITES species

Roughly 5,600 species of animals and 30,000 species of plants are protected by CITES against over-exploitation through international trade. They are listed in the three CITES Appendices. The species are grouped in the Appendices according to how threatened they are by international trade. They include some whole groups, such as primates, cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), sea turtles, parrots, corals, cacti and orchids. However, in some cases only a subspecies or geographically separate population of a species (for example the population of just one country) is listed. The table below shows the approximate numbers of species that are included in the CITES Appendices as of 2 October 2013*. A more detailed table is available here.

  Appendix I Appendix II Appendix III
Mammals 300 spp. (incl. 11 popns) + 23 sspp. (incl. 3 popns) 501 spp. (incl. 16 popns) + 7 sspp. (incl. 2 popns) 45 spp. + 10 sspp.
Birds 154 spp. (incl. 2 popns) + 10 sspp. 1278 spp. (incl. 1 popn) + 3 sspp. 25 spp.
Reptiles 80 spp. (incl. 8 popns) + 5 sspp. 673 spp. (incl. 6 popns) 40 spp.
Amphibians 17 spp. 126 spp. 3 spp.
Fish 16 spp. 87 spp. -
Invertebrates 63 spp. + 5 sspp. 2162 spp. + 1 sspp. 22 spp. + 3 sspp.
FAUNA TOTAL 630 spp. + 43 sspp. 4827 spp. + 11 sspp. 135 spp. + 13 sspp.
FLORA 301 spp. + 4 sspp. 29592 spp. (incl. 162 popns) 12 spp. (incl. 2 popns) + 1 var.
GRAND TOTAL 931 spp. + 47 sspp. 34419 spp. + 11 sspp. 147 spp. + 13 sspp. + 1 var.

(updated on 2 October 2013)    

Any type of wild plant or animal may be included in the list of species protected by CITES [see Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP16)] and the range of wildlife species included in the Appendices extends from leeches to lions and from pine trees to pitcher plants. While the more charismatic creatures, such as bears and whales, may be the better known examples of CITES species, the most numerous groups include many less popularized plants and animals, such as aloes, corals, mussels and frogs.

On this site, you can find the lists of species included in CITES Appendices I, II and III, as well as photographs of many of the listed species.

To find more details of the CITES species, you can search the CITES-listed species database hosted by UNEP-WCMC and the Checklist of CITES species.


* Please note that these numbers are approximate because there are no agreed lists for some of the higher taxa.

The abbreviation "spp." is used to denote species; "sspp." for subspecies; and "popns" for populations.