Dr Ali Hutchinson at CITES CoP

Dr Ali Hutchinson is attending the CITES CoP in Panama City

From the 14th – 24th November governments from around the world will be deciding upon regulations for wildlife trade, with the European eel making an early appearance in discussions on the second day of the Conference. 

The Conference will be held in the Panama Convention Centre and will host government representatives, United Nations agencies, Intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as private sector groups to discuss measures for the international trade of wildlife. This year proposals for fifty-two species will be considered for additions to, or movement between appendices.  

With ten proposals for plant species (including orchids, African and Pod mahogany, Indian Rosewood, and Brazilwood), this CoP will be highly focussed on managing the trade in vulnerable and valuable hardwood species. Turtles also make up the bulk of the proposals with twelve under consideration (three for Appendix I, seven for Appendix II, and two split listed between Appendix I and II). There are also six proposals for mammals – the large and enigmatic hippo, populations of rhinos and elephants, among the more-humble Mexican prairie dog – as well as six reptile proposals (including the Appendix I listing of the Pygmy bluetongue lizard) that will undoubtedly draw crowds. 

Marine species are also highly present within the proposals, with two shark families (the hammerhead and requiem), and one family of freshwater stingrays and sea-cucumbers also  proposed for Appendix II. The zebra plico and guitarfishes are also under consideration for listings on  Appendix I.

The CoP will also decide upon the listing of four bird species – the Short-tailed albatross, the Aleutian cackling goose, and the White-rumped shama (each for Appendix II), and the Straw-headed bulbul (for Appendix I). As well as two proposals each for for snakes (the Puerto Rican boa and the Timber rattlesnake), crocodiles (Saltwater and Siamese), and frogs (Glass and Lemur leaf), and one proposal for the Broad-snouted caiman and the Lao warty newt.Updates on the progress of the CoP can be found here, and Alison will be keeping us updated during her travels on Twitter @DrAliHutchinson