[Federal Register: April 18, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 75)]
[Page 19207-19235]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International 
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); Twelfth 
Regular Meeting; Proposed Resolutions, Decisions, and Agenda Items 
Being Considered; Taxa Being Considered for Amendments to the CITES 
Appendices; Public Meeting Reminder

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The United States, as a Party to the Convention on 
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 
(CITES), may submit proposed resolutions, decisions, and agenda items 
for consideration at meetings of the Conference of the Parties to 
CITES. The United States may also propose amendments to the CITES 
Appendices for consideration at meetings of the Conference of the 
Parties. The twelfth regular meeting of

[[Page 19208]]

the Conference of the Parties to CITES (COP12) will be held in 
Santiago, Chile, November 3-15, 2002. With this notice we: describe the 
U.S. approach for COP12;describe resolutions, decisions, and agenda 
items that the United States is considering submitting for 
consideration at COP12; describe proposed amendments to the CITES 
Appendices (species proposals) that the United States is considering 
submitting for consideration at COP12; invite your comments and 
information on these potential proposals; and remind you of a public 
meeting to discuss these potential submissions, which was announced in 
our Federal Register notice of March 27, 2002 (67 FR 14728).

DATES: The public meeting will be held on April 17, 2002, at 1:30 p.m. 
We will consider written information and comments you submit concerning 
potential species proposals, proposed resolutions, proposed decisions, 
and agenda items that the United States is considering submitting for 
consideration at COP12, and other items relating to COP12, if we 
receive them by May 17, 2002.


Public Meeting

    The public meeting will be held in Sidney Yates Auditorium, in the 
Department of the Interior at 18th and C Streets, NW., Washington, DC 
Directions to the building can be obtained by contacting the Division 
of Management Authority (see ``FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT,'' 
below). Please note that Sidney Yates Auditorium is accessible to the 
handicapped and all persons planning to attend the meeting will be 
required to present photo identification when entering the building. 
Persons who plan to attend the meeting and who require interpretation 
for the hearing impaired should notify the Division of Management 
Authority as soon as possible.

Comment Submission

    Comments pertaining to proposed resolutions, proposed decisions, 
and/or agenda items should be sent to the Division of Management 
Authority; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 North Fairfax Drive; 
Room 700; Arlington, VA 22203, or via E-mail at: cites@fws.gov, or via 
fax at: 703/358-2298. Comments pertaining to species proposals should 
be sent to the Division of Scientific Authority; U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service; 4401 North Fairfax Drive; Room 750; Arlington, VA 22203, or 
via E-mail at: scientificauthority@fws.gov, or via fax at: 703/358-
2276. Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, at either the Division of Management Authority or the Division 
of Scientific Authority.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrea Gaski, Division of Management 
Authority, Branch of CITES Operations, phone: 703/358-2095, fax: 703/
358-2298, E-mail: cites@fws.gov; or Robert R. Gabel, Division of 
Scientific Authority, phone: 703/358-1708, fax: 703/358-2276, E-mail: 



    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild 
Fauna and Flora, hereinafter referred to as CITES or the Convention, is 
an international treaty designed to control and regulate international 
trade in certain animal and plant species that are now or potentially 
may be threatened with extinction if their trade is not controlled. 
These species are listed in Appendices to CITES, copies of which are 
available from the Division of Management Authority or the Division of 
Scientific Authority at the above addresses, from our World Wide 
Website at http://international.fws.gov/cites/cites.html, or from the 
official CITES Secretariat Website at http://www.cites.org/eng/append/
index.shtml. Currently, 157 countries, including the United States, are 
Parties to CITES. CITES calls for biennial meetings of the Conference 
of the Parties, which review its implementation, make provisions 
enabling the CITES Secretariat in Switzerland to carry out its 
functions, consider amendments to the list of species in Appendices I 
and II, consider reports presented by the Secretariat, and make 
recommendations for the improved effectiveness of CITES. Any country 
that is a Party to CITES may propose amendments to Appendices I and II, 
resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for consideration by the other 
    This is our fourth in a series of Federal Register notices that, 
together with announced public meetings, provide you with an 
opportunity to participate in the development of the United States' 
negotiating positions for the twelfth regular meeting of the Conference 
of the Parties to CITES (COP12). We published our first such Federal 
Register notice on June 12, 2001 (66 FR 31686), and with it we 
requested information and recommendations on potential species 
amendments for the United States to consider proposing at COP12. 
Information on that Federal Register notice, and on species amendment 
proposals, is available from the Division of Scientific Authority at 
the above address. We published our second such Federal Register notice 
on July 25, 2001 (66 FR 38739), and with it we requested information 
and recommendations on potential resolutions, decisions, and agenda 
items for the United States to submit for consideration at COP12. You 
may obtain information on that Federal Register notice, and on proposed 
resolutions, proposed decisions, and agenda items, from the Division of 
Management Authority at the above address. We published our third such 
Federal Register notice on March 27, 2002 (67 FR 14728), and with it we 
announced a public meeting to discuss potential species proposals, 
proposed resolutions, proposed decisions, and agenda items that the 
United States is considering submitting for consideration at COP12. 
With that notice, we also provided information on how non-governmental 
organizations based in the United States can attend COP12 as observers. 
You may locate our regulations governing this public process in 50 CFR 
    COP12 is scheduled to be held in Santiago, Chile, November 3-15, 

I. U.S. Approach for COP12

What are the Priorities for U.S. Submissions to COP12?

    Priorities for U.S. submissions to COP12 continue to be consistent 
with the overall objective of U.S. participation in the Convention: to 
maximize the effectiveness of the Convention in the conservation and 
sustainable use of species subject to international trade. During the 
public review process, we have identified over 80 proposals for 
amendments of the Appendices (species listing proposals), resolutions, 
decisions, and agenda items for possible submission for consideration 
at COP12. The majority of comments received through the public review 
process involved statements of support or disagreement for the various 
proposed actions with little biological or trade information or 
supporting justification.
    We have undertaken initial assessments of the available trade and 
biological information on all of the species listing proposals as well 
as pertinent available data and information on the proposed 
resolutions, decisions, and agenda items. These assessments were made 
by considering the quality of information available; the presence, 
absence, and effectiveness of other

[[Page 19209]]

mechanisms that may preclude the need for a CITES action to help 
conserve species in trade, and the relative importance of the need for 
and expected benefit of the proposed action. In addition to the 
information available on the various proposals, we also considered the 
following factors in arriving at the current provisional 
    (1) Does the proposed action address a serious wildlife trade issue 
that the United States is experiencing as a range country for species 
in trade? Since our primary responsibility is the conservation of our 
domestic wildlife resources, we will give native species our highest 
priority. We will place particular emphasis on terrestrial and 
freshwater species with the majority of their range in the United 
States and its territories that are or may be in significant trade; 
marine species that occur in U.S. waters or for which the United States 
is a major importer; and threatened and endangered species for which we 
and other Federal and State agencies already have statutory 
responsibility for protection and recovery. We also consider CITES 
listings as a proactive measure to monitor and manage trade in native 
species to preclude the need for the application of stricter measures, 
such as listing under the Endangered Species Act and/or inclusion in 
CITES Appendix I.
    (2) Does the proposed action address a serious wildlife trade issue 
for species not native to the United States? As a major importer of 
wildlife and wildlife products, the United States has taken 
responsibility, by working in close consultation with range countries, 
for addressing cases of potential over-exploitation of exotic species 
in the wild. In some cases, the United States may not be a range 
country or a significant trading country for a species, but we will 
work closely with other countries to conserve species being threatened 
by unsustainable global trade. We will consider CITES listings for 
species not native to the United States, but for which we are a major 
importer, if that listing will assist in addressing cases of potential 
overexploitation of exotic species in the wild, and in preventing 
illegal, unregulated trade. These species will be prioritized based on 
the extent of trade and status of the species, and also the role the 
species play in the ecosystem, with emphasis on those species for which 
a CITES listing would offer the greatest conservation benefits to the 
species, associated species, and their habitat.
    (3) Does the proposed action address difficulties in implementing 
or interpreting the Convention by the United States as an importing or 
exporting country, and would the proposed action contribute to the 
effective implementation of the Convention by all Parties? Differences 
in interpretation of the Convention by 157 Party nations can result in 
inconsistencies in the way it is implemented. In addition, wildlife 
trade is dynamic and ever-changing, thus presenting problems when 
established procedures are not readily applicable to new situations. 
The United States experiences some of these problems and 
inconsistencies directly through its own imports and exports, but we 
also learn of these difficulties through our participation in various 
fora, such as the CITES Standing Committee and the technical 
committees, and through discussions with other countries, non-
governmental organizations, and the Secretariat. When the United States 
cannot resolve these difficulties unilaterally or through one-on-one 
discussions with trading partners, it may propose resolutions or 
decisions, usually in collaboration with other Parties, or have these 
topics placed on the agenda of the Conference of the Parties for 
discussion by all of the Parties.
    (4) Does the proposed action improve implementation of the 
Convention by increasing the quality of information and expertise used 
to support decisions by the Parties? With increased complexity, 
sophistication, and specialization in the biological sciences and other 
disciplines, it is critical that the CITES Parties have the best 
available information upon which to base decisions that affect the 
conservation of wildlife resources as well as local peoples and 
economies. Where appropriate, the United States will recommend actions 
to ensure the availability of up-to-date and accurate information to 
the Parties, including through the establishment of relationships with 
relevant international bodies, including other conventions, 
interjurisdictional resource management agencies, and international 
non-governmental organizations with relevant expertise.
    This notice provides a summary of our initial assessments and a 
preliminary likelihood of our submitting species proposals, 
resolutions, decisions, or agenda items for consideration at COP12. 
Final decisions on proposals for submission for COP12 will be made 
following a review and analysis of any additional information provided 
through the public review process leading up to the June 6, 2002, 
deadline for submission of proposals to the CITES Secretariat.

II. Recommendations for Resolutions, Decisions, and Agenda Items 
for the United States to Consider Submitting at COP12

    In our Federal Register notice published on July 25, 2001 (66 FR 
38739), we requested information and recommendations on potential 
resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for the United States to 
submit for consideration at COP12. We received recommendations for 
resolutions, decisions, and agenda items from the following 
organizations or individuals: Earthtrust; International Primate 
Protection League; International Wildlife Coalition; International Wood 
Products Association; Minnesota Natural Heritage and Nongame Research 
Program; Safari Club International; and Whale and Dolphin Conservation 
    We considered all of the recommendations of the above organizations 
and individuals, as well as the U.S. approach for COP12 discussed 
above, when compiling a list of possible resolutions, decisions, and 
agenda items that the United States is likely to submit for 
consideration by the Parties at COP12; and when compiling lists of 
resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for consideration at COP12 
that the United States either is currently undecided about submitting, 
is not considering submitting at this time, or plans to address in 
other ways. There are some issues for which the United States may 
consider submitting documents, depending on the outcome of discussions 
in the CITES Animals, Plants, and Standing Committees, or additional 
consultations with range country governments and knowledgeable experts.
    We welcome your comments and information submissions regarding the 
resolutions, decisions, and agenda items that the United States is 
likely to submit, currently undecided about submitting, or currently 
not planning to submit.

A. What Resolutions, Decisions, and Agenda Items is the United States 
Likely To Submit for Consideration at COP12?

1. Process for Establishment, Implementation, and Monitoring of 
Appendix-II Export Quotas
    The United States is considering submitting a document related to 
the establishment and implementation of CITES Appendix-II export 
quotas, as well as to current problems related to

[[Page 19210]]

monitoring and regulating appropriate use of such quotas. The United 
States is a major importer of live wildlife and wildlife products 
covered by export quotas.
    The use of Appendix-II export quotas has increased significantly 
over the past several years, and, in 2001, 74 Parties and one non-Party 
reported such quotas to the CITES Secretariat (Notification to the 
Parties No. 2001/041; ``Revised export quotas for 2001''). In 
Notification to the Parties No. 2001/044 (``Management of export quotas 
and combating fraudulent use of permits and certificates''), the 
Secretariat noted that the Standing Committee, at its forty-fifth 
meeting, accepted a report from the Secretariat which was concerned, in 
part, with the management of export quotas and current practices in 
this area that are subject to abuse. While this Notification included a 
number of excellent recommendations to the Parties as to how they could 
improve the management of their export quota programs, we believe that 
the quota process would benefit from a more encompassing review and 
    Under CITES, there is no formal generic document that provides 
guidance to the Parties on the establishment, implementation, 
monitoring, and regulation of a program for Appendix-II export quotas. 
While a number of Resolutions are concerned with export quotas for 
Appendix-I species (such as Resolution Conf. 10.15 (Rev.); 
``Establishment of quotas for markhor hunting trophies''), there is no 
equivalent Resolution for export quotas for Appendix-II species, which 
comprise the vast majority of trade under CITES export quotas.
    The United States is undecided at this point in time as to whether 
it would be more appropriate to submit, for consideration at COP12, a 
draft resolution or a discussion document on this issue. We plan to 
discuss this in greater detail with the Secretariat prior to making a 
final decision.
2. Exchange of Scientific Specimens
    At the eleventh meeting of the Plants Committee in September 2001, 
Switzerland submitted a proposal to exempt herbarium specimens of 
Appendix-II plant species from CITES controls. The Swiss proposal would 
have annotated plant listings so that such specimens would be treated 
as parts or derivatives that would have been excluded from the 
listings. This proposal was opposed by the United States and others on 
the basis that the exemption was based on the purpose of the trade in 
such specimens, not necessarily the characteristics of the specimens 
themselves, as well as the fact that the Convention already contains 
specific provisions for exempting such specimens in Article VII, 
paragraph 6. This exemption is implemented through a registration 
process described in Resolution Conf. 11.15. We received a comment from 
the Minnesota Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program suggesting 
difficulties in the cross-border movement of vegetative material of 
CITES-listed species for genetic analyses. In addition, we have heard 
comments from scientists both within the United States and elsewhere 
regarding the lack of implementation of the exemption for scientific 
specimens in many countries, and we have encountered examples of 
misapplication of the exemption in the issuance of permits by some 
countries. Comments from scientists have focused mainly on the 
difficulties encountered in attempting to exchange specimens among 
institutions for study for taxonomic review, often as part of 
biodiversity surveys to document the biota of a country or region. This 
work provides an essential foundation for conservation efforts at both 
the species and ecosystem levels.
    We note that the CITES Parties, in Conf. 11.15, recommended that 
``Parties take every opportunity within the scope of the Convention to 
encourage scientific research on wild fauna and flora, where this may 
be of use in conserving species that are threatened with extinction or 
that may become so.'' We are concerned that the lack of implementation 
of the provisions of the Convention to facilitate scientific exchange 
may be hampering much-needed work in the area of biodiversity 
assessments and conservation. Therefore, the United States plans to 
develop a discussion document for presentation at COP12 to ask the 
Parties to consider ways to encourage broader implementation of the 
scientific exchange procedures of Conf. 11.15, and to make these 
procedures known to the scientific community.

B. On What Resolutions, Decisions, and Agenda Items Is the United 
States Still Undecided, Pending Additional Information and 

1. Establishment of Streamlined Procedures for Transporting Crocodilian 
and Other Reptile Product Samples Across International Borders
    The United States submitted a draft decision (Doc. 11.52) to the 
eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (COP11) in 
Kenya in April 2000, which proposed that the trade restrictions on 
crocodilian skin swatches be reviewed to determine if streamlined 
permit procedures could be adopted for samples being taken to 
international trade shows, provided they were not sold at such 
exhibitions. The United States submitted this draft decision in an 
attempt to lessen the regulatory burden and facilitate legitimate trade 
movements of processed crocodilian skin samples, which, in our opinion, 
pose minimal conservation risks.
    A decision was adopted at COP11 (Decision 11.164; Regarding 
Movement of Sample Reptile Skins and Other Related Products) requiring 
the Secretariat to study this issue with the Animals Committee, World 
Conservation Union (IUCN) Crocodile Specialist Group, and the World 
Customs Organization. Decision 11.164 also expanded the scope of this 
issue by including skin samples from all reptile species, not just 
crocodilians. The Secretariat is required to submit a resolution to 
COP12 on this issue, based on these discussions.
    The United States proposes a draft negotiating position that 
supports expansion of this streamlined process to skin samples of all 
CITES-listed reptile species currently in trade. Sample pieces of 
reptile skins are used to provide a buyer or potential buyer a way to 
determine the quality of tanning and the color of skins. Although the 
samples themselves are not for sale, they are used to generate sales. 
The international movement of these samples generates considerable 
paperwork for both the importing and exporting countries and may result 
in delays for the importer and/or exporter. We believe a streamlined 
permit system could facilitate legitimate trade in reptile skin 
samples, while maintaining strict permitting requirements for 
commercial trade in products.
    The United States is considering submitting a draft resolution on 
this issue, but is currently undecided pending the receipt of 
information from the Secretariat on the content of the resolution that 
they will submit to COP12. The United States may develop a negotiating 
position in support of the Secretariat's resolution, or it may elect to 
submit an alternative draft resolution on this issue. The United States 
will make a decision on this issue after reviewing the draft resolution 
prepared by the Secretariat.
2. Biological Listing Criteria
    At the ninth regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties to 
CITES (COP9), the Parties adopted new criteria

[[Page 19211]]

for listing and de-listing species in the Appendices. These criteria, 
contained in Resolution Conf. 9.24, were more quantitative than 
previous guidelines and provided a format for proposals to add or 
delete taxa from Appendices I and II. Conf. 9.24 also requires an 
evaluation of the effectiveness and applicability of the new criteria 
before COP12. Toward that end, a Criteria Working Group was established 
at COP11 to review the criteria, gather input from the Animals and 
Plants Committees and from the Parties, and make recommendations for 
improving the criteria. The United States has played an active role in 
the Criteria Working Group, and submitted detailed comments on each of 
its reports. The Chairs of the Animals and Plants Committees reviewed 
the final recommendations of the Working Group and comments by the 
Parties, and reported to the Standing Committee in March 2002. We are 
currently reviewing these final recommendations, which, we believe, 
should promote precautionary, objective, and scientific evaluation of 
species in international trade. After reviewing the recommendations of 
the Standing Committee, the United States may consider submitting a 
proposal at COP12 to improve or expand upon the recommendations, if we 
feel it is prudent to increase emphasis on the precautionary approach 
or certain scientific principles, or make the criteria more risk 
3. Concerning Whaling and Whale Stocks
    The United States continues to participate in efforts in the 
International Whaling Commission (IWC) to develop a Revised Management 
Scheme that includes an effective inspection and observation scheme in 
the event that the moratorium on commercial whaling is lifted. This is 
important to the deliberations under CITES because, in 1978, the IWC 
requested the assistance of CITES in enforcing its moratorium on 
commercial whaling. This request was answered by the CITES Parties in 
Resolution Conf. 2.9 (later incorporated into Resolution Conf. 11.4; 
Conservation of cetaceans, trade in cetacean specimens and the 
relationship with the International Whaling Commission), which 
recommended that ``the Parties agree not to issue any import or export 
permit or certificate'' for international commercial trade in whale 
species. These complementary actions established a strong relationship 
between the two organizations, whereby CITES has agreed to reflect IWC 
decisions in its Appendices.
    The fifty-fourth meeting of the IWC will be convened in 
Shimonoseki, Japan, May 20-23, 2002. The United States will be 
particularly interested in population assessments for whale species 
that are currently subject to commercial and scientific whaling, or 
that may be targeted for future whaling. Based on the results of the 
IWC meeting, the United States may submit a draft resolution or 
discussion document for consideration at COP12, concerning whaling and 
whale stocks under the competence of the IWC.
4. Introduction From the Sea
    Article IV of the Convention has provisions for trade in CITES-
listed species taken in the marine environment outside the jurisdiction 
of any country (the high seas), known as ``introduction from the sea.'' 
At COP11 in April 2000, the Government of Australia submitted a draft 
resolution (Doc. 11.18) on interpretation and implementation of CITES 
regarding introduction from the sea. The Parties were unable to reach 
agreement on a resolution and continue to disagree on how to apply the 
Convention when specimens enter trade from the high seas. This has 
hindered a thorough discussion of listing proposals for certain marine 
species. The United States believes there is still a need for the 
Parties to agree to a standard interpretation of terms and an 
internationally accepted system to implement introduction from the sea. 
In February 2002, the Sub-Committee on Fish Trade (within the Committee 
on Fisheries [COFI] of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the 
United Nations [FAO]) met in Bremen, Germany, to develop a work plan to 
explore CITES issues related to international fish trade. The United 
States participated in the meeting. The United States is currently 
undecided on whether to develop a discussion document on this issue for 
COP12. We believe introduction from the sea warrants further discussion 
and welcome draft language or comments.
5. Relationship Between CITES and FAO
    At its twenty-fourth meeting (February-March 2001), the COFI of FAO 
took two decisions concerning CITES. It dictated that: (a) A Technical 
Consultation be convened to review the CITES listing criteria as they 
relate to commercially exploited marine species; and (b) the Sub-
Committee on Fish Trade at its February 2002 meeting in Bremen, 
Germany, develop a plan for review of CITES issues. The Technical 
Consultation, which was convened in October 2001 in Windhoek, Namibia, 
resulted not only in the generation of important contributions to the 
CITES Criteria Review, but in a strong collaboration between the two 
bodies. As marine issues gain more attention in CITES, cooperation 
between the two fora will become more important and should be 
encouraged. The United States is considering but is currently undecided 
on whether to submit a discussion document to promote this cooperation.
6. Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) in 
the Wider Caribbean Region
    The United States received a recommendation from the International 
Wildlife Coalition that it propose a resolution at COP12 calling for 
closer cooperation between the Secretariats of CITES and the SPAW 
Protocol. The United States notes the initiative of the CITES 
Secretariat (approved at COP11) to closely collaborate with 
Secretariats of Regional Seas Conventions and other regional United 
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) offices, as well as the 
Secretariats of other biodiversity-related Multilateral Environmental 
Agreements (MEAs) in matters of implementation, enforcement, and 
capacity building at the regional level. At the First Meeting of the 
Contracting Parties to SPAW, a decision was taken to promote and 
facilitate the conclusion of Memoranda of Understanding between the two 
Secretariats and to conclude an agreement for a two-year pilot on the 
joint funding of a Programme Officer in the Regional Co-ordinating Unit 
of the Caribbean Environment Programme. The United States is undecided 
whether it may be appropriate to submit a draft resolution at COP12 to 
reinforce this effort.
7. Collaboration Between CITES and the World Customs Organization
    One of the objectives of the CITES ``Strategic Vision through 
2005,'' adopted by the Parties at COP11, is for CITES to increase 
cooperation and coordination with related conventions, agreements, and 
associations. The United States agrees with this objective and is very 
supportive of synergy and cooperation with international organizations, 
including the World Customs Organization (WCO). The United States is 
considering whether to submit a discussion document to COP12 to promote 
collaboration between CITES Parties and the WCO. The United States 
remains undecided as to whether to submit a discussion document to 
COP12 on this issue. We are seeking your

[[Page 19212]]

comments and information submissions regarding this matter.
8. Implementation Issues Related to Appendix-III Timber Species
    We received a comment from the International Wood Products 
Association (IWPA) requesting that the United States submit to COP12 
the recommendations that it presented in document Doc. PC.11.24.5 at 
the eleventh meeting of the Plants Committee, which were intended to 
help the Parties implement new Appendix-III timber listings. The IWPA 
pointed out that implementation of the recent listing of ramin 
(Gonystylus spp.) in Appendix III by Indonesia proved to be difficult 
for IWPA members due to conflicting and incomplete information, and 
that members experienced costly delays as shipments were held up at 
ports of import due to confusion over the effective date of the listing 
as well as to what types of ramin wood products were regulated.
    Since COP11, two new timber species, Spanish cedar (Cedrela 
odorata) and ramin have been listed in CITES Appendix III. The United 
States, a major importing country of both species, was not consulted by 
the listing countries prior to the listings, as recommended in 
Resolution Conf. 9.25 (Rev.). We believe that lack of such consultation 
of other range countries and major importing countries prior to an 
Appendix-III listing, particularly a listing of a timber species, may 
hinder the abilities of those countries to implement the listing in a 
timely and effective manner, and does not provide those countries with 
an opportunity to comment on the potential effects of a given Appendix-
III listing. Also, U.S. port inspection officials have encountered 
difficulties in identifying and inspecting shipments of timber products 
for Appendix-III timber species, such as ramin, whose listings are not 
annotated to include only logs, sawn wood, and veneer sheets.
    The United States is considering, but remains undecided, about 
submitting a discussion document to COP12 to raise the issue of 
problems experienced by the Parties in implementing the recent 
Appendix-III timber listings and provide some recommendations to help 
the Parties implement such timber listings in the future. It was agreed 
at the forty-fifth meeting of the Standing Committee in June 2001 that 
the CITES Secretariat would, with the guidance of a working group of 
which the United States is a member, develop for consideration at the 
forty-sixth meeting of the Standing Committee in March 2002, a proposal 
addressing practical CITES implementation issues. This proposal, as 
revised by the Standing Committee, would then be submitted for 
consideration at COP12.
    Based on input from the working group, the Secretariat submitted 
for consideration at the forty-sixth meeting of the Standing Committee 
a document that included a draft amendment to CITES Resolution Conf. 
11.1 (Establishment of Committees) to establish an Implementation 
Subcommittee under the Standing Committee to deal with implementation 
issues, such as those that the United States presented to the Plants 
Committee in Doc. PC.11.24.5. However, in its document, the Secretariat 
recommended against establishing an Implementation Subcommittee. In 
addition, some Parties had concerns about such a permanent 
subcommittee. Subsequently, at its forty-sixth meeting, the Standing 
Committee reconvened its working group and tasked it with reviewing, 
during the course of the meeting, the Secretariat's document. The 
working group discussed various means of addressing the need for a body 
within CITES to address implementation issues, while taking into 
consideration the concerns of the Secretariat and some of the Parties. 
One of the options discussed by the working group was to change the 
structures or Terms of References of the technical committees (Animals 
and Plants Committees) within CITES to better address implementation 
issues. The issue was not resolved at the forty-sixth meeting of the 
Standing Committee, and was referred to the forty-seventh meeting, 
immediately preceding COP12, for further discussion.
    The United States submitted a discussion document at the forty-
sixth meeting of the Standing Committee on the issue of implementation 
problems related to the inclusion in the CITES listings of secondary 
products, including those from Appendix-III timber species. The United 
States intends to analyze the Standing Committee's discussions of this 
issue and the Implementation Committee issue before deciding how to 
proceed at COP12. Based on these analyses, the United States will 
decide if it should submit a discussion document on the Appendix-III 
timber listing implementation issue and/or a draft amendment to CITES 
Resolution Conf. 11.1. We welcome your comments and information 
submissions regarding this matter.

C. What Resolutions, Decisions, and Agenda Items Is the United States 
Not Planning To Submit for Consideration at COP12, Unless it Receives 
Significant Additional Information?

1. Use of a Standardized, Externally Verified DNA Testing Protocol for 
Species Determination
    We received comments from Earthtrust recommending that the United 
States propose a resolution for COP12 that sets forth a standardized, 
externally verified DNA market testing protocol to be employed whenever 
DNA testing of any species is used to monitor and enforce the 
Convention. The United States has actively participated in efforts 
aimed at developing protocols for and coordination of activities 
concerning DNA testing in both the International Whaling Commission 
(IWC) and CITES, and will continue to do so. Although Earthtrust's 
focus is on whales, the proposed resolution language would affect all 
current DNA testing for CITES enforcement in the United States and 
would overrule our ability to conduct testing by requiring that all 
testing be done by an independent laboratory. Therefore, although the 
United States strongly believes that DNA testing should be an open, 
transparent process, we do not intend to propose a resolution mandating 
a standardized DNA testing protocol for all CITES species 
determinations. However, the United States will continue to work within 
the IWC on appropriate whale DNA testing protocols that allow 
transparency and external scrutiny.
2. Guidelines for Handling and Disposition of Confiscated Non-Human 
    The International Primate Protection League (IPPL) and the 
International Wildlife Coalition proposed that the United States submit 
a resolution outlining confiscation and disposition procedures for live 
primates. The International Wildlife Coalition also proposed that this 
resolution provide specific guidance to Parties on confiscation 
procedures when there is a risk, or perceived risk, that an animal 
could transmit disease to humans. The IPPL and the International 
Wildlife Coalition are proposing this resolution in response to 
information they received from media reports describing the drowning of 
two confiscated primates in Egypt. The United States agrees that the 
recommendations of the IPPL and the International Wildlife Coalition 
raise important issues that should be discussed further by the CITES 
Parties, but does not propose to address them through a resolution at 
this time.

[[Page 19213]]

    In Resolution Conf. 10.7, the CITES Parties adopted guidelines that 
address disposition of confiscated live specimens of species included 
in the Appendices. Parties are responsible, through these guidelines, 
to ensure that confiscated live animals are disposed of appropriately 
and humanely. Absent new facts that indicate a problem with the current 
guidance, we are not prepared to offer amendments. In the Egyptian case 
however, the CITES Secretariat has released a statement indicating that 
Egypt has confirmed the drowning of the two primates after confiscation 
from a known Egyptian-Nigerian wildlife smuggler, and that the Egyptian 
Minister of Agriculture is investigating the matter. The CITES 
Secretariat has also requested that Nigeria investigate this incident 
and coordinate with Egypt to avoid this type of illegal trade. The 
outcome of these contacts will be reported to the CITES Secretariat.
    We have not received a response from the Egyptian Management 
Authority regarding our inquiry into this matter. We are pleased with 
the decision of the Egyptian authorities to investigate the incident 
and to provide further details to the CITES Secretariat. The United 
States will wait for this investigation to be concluded and the results 
reported before considering recommendations for additional guidance to 
the Parties regarding the handling and disposition of confiscated live 
3. Defining the Role and Mandate of the CITES Secretariat
    The International Wildlife Coalition proposed that the United 
States submit an agenda item clearly defining the role, mandate, and 
scope of authority of the CITES Secretariat. The International Wildlife 
Coalition feels that, as the Convention has increased in size and 
complexity, the Secretariat has had to prioritize its activities, and 
has not always done so in a way that is acceptable to the Parties. The 
International Wildlife Coalition recommended that the United States 
seek broad consensus in developing the terms of such a definition, 
since it would be unlikely to be accepted as the product of a single 
    The United States does not propose to submit such an agenda item. 
The role and mandate of the CITES Secretariat are clearly defined in 
the text of the Convention, current resolutions, and the Strategic Plan 
of the Convention. In particular, Articles XII, XV, and XVI outline 
general responsibilities of the Secretariat as well as specific duties 
with regard to the amendment of the CITES Appendices. Resolution Conf. 
5.20 establishes additional guidelines to be followed by the 
Secretariat when making recommendations to the Parties for proposals to 
amend the Appendices. Beginning at COP9, the Conference of the Parties 
initiated a review of the Convention's effectiveness. Following the 
development of an Action Plan at COP10 in June 1997, the Parties 
concluded that a Strategic Plan would also need to be developed. The 
Strategic Plan that came out of these discussions is intended to carry 
the Convention through 2005. The accompanying Action Plan directs 
specific activities to the Parties, the three Permanent Committees, and 
the Secretariat. The United States supports the role and mandate of the 
Secretariat as laid out in these documents. Therefore, the United 
States does not propose to submit the issue for discussion at COP12.
4. Re-examining the Terms of Reference for the Animals and Plants 
    We received a comment from the International Wildlife Coalition 
requesting that the United States submit an agenda item to COP12 to re-
examine the Terms of Reference for the CITES Animals and Plants 
Committees. The International Wildlife Coalition expressed its belief 
that, due to the fact that the scope and range of participation in 
meetings of the Animals and Plants Committees have grown in recent 
years, and that much of the work is now carried on in working groups 
composed of both Parties and observers, the current Terms of Reference 
for the makeup and operation of these committees are inadequate. Of 
particular concern to the International Wildlife Coalition is that it 
believes that the current structure of the committees can allow for 
consensus recommendations by working groups to be ignored or 
    The current Terms of Reference for the Animals and Plants 
Committees were adopted by the Parties at COP11 in Resolution Conf. 
11.1. Although they do not address working groups within the Animals 
and Plants Committees, the United States believes the Terms of 
Reference provide the appropriate guidance on the scope of the 
committees and the manner in which they now conduct their work. Working 
groups within the Animals and Plants Committees are informal groups 
that allow for detailed discussions and review of particular issues in 
a way that allows the committees to efficiently address the issues. 
These working groups report back to the committees with recommendations 
that can be further discussed and adopted or modified. Therefore, the 
United States does not propose to submit this issue for discussion at 
COP12, unless it receives additional information warranting such a 
5. Promoting Enhancement of the Understanding of CITES
    The International Wood Products Association (IWPA) recommended that 
the Parties address the need to enhance the understanding of CITES, 
particularly with regard to the Appendices. The IWPA is concerned that 
resource agencies, industry, and the U.S. public do not understand the 
meaning of listings in the CITES Appendices, and encourages the 
production and distribution of additional outreach materials targeted 
at these audiences.
    Although the United States does not propose to submit this issue as 
an agenda item to COP12, we will continue to encourage the Secretariat 
to produce targeted outreach materials. Additionally, we will continue 
outreach efforts in this country to promote understanding and 
appropriate application of CITES. The Secretariat recently distributed 
a CITES brochure with Notification to the Parties No. 2001/076. The 
brochure is designed as a general awareness-raising tool and is 
available in the three languages of the Convention (English, French, 
and Spanish). In this Notification, the Secretariat encourages the 
submission of ideas for other outreach materials targeted at specific 
audiences, such as tourists and industry. In addition, one of the goals 
of the CITES Strategic Vision through 2005 is to promote greater 
understanding of the Convention. The United States believes that the 
objectives outlined in the Strategic Vision, as well as outreach 
efforts currently underway, address the immediate outreach needs for 
the Convention.
6. Importance of Parties Committing Sufficient Resources to the 
Enforcement of CITES Listings
    We received a comment from the International Wood Products 
Association (IWPA) requesting that the United States put before the 
Parties at COP12 the issue of the importance of Parties committing 
sufficient administrative, financial, and technical resources to the 
enforcement of CITES listings. The IWPA commented that CITES 
implementing regulations are not published in a timely or easily 
accessible manner in some Party countries, and that there is often 
inconsistency in their enforcement even if these regulations are 
available. The IWPA further commented that it believes that a primary 
cause of such

[[Page 19214]]

problems is insufficient funding in some Party countries for their 
CITES Management Authorities.
    The United States agrees that some CITES Parties are currently 
unable to commit sufficient resources to the enforcement of CITES 
listings. However, this issue has already been addressed in the CITES 
Strategic Vision through 2005, adopted by the Parties at COP11. Goal 
number 1 of the Strategic Vision is to enhance the ability of each 
Party to implement CITES. This Goal includes several objectives, 
including, among other actions: assisting Parties in the development of 
appropriate domestic legislation and policies to promote the effective 
enforcement of CITES; strengthening the administrative, management, and 
scientific capacity of Parties by improving the coordination between 
Management and Scientific Authorities and other national agencies 
responsible for wild animals and plants; strengthening the enforcement 
capacity of the Parties and improving coordination among Management 
Authorities and other agencies, such as police, Customs, and 
veterinary/phytosanitary services; and encouraging the proper funding 
of CITES implementation and enforcement by Parties, and the adoption of 
national mechanisms that have resource users make a greater 
contribution to such funding. Since the Strategic Vision already 
addresses the issue of Parties committing sufficient resources to the 
enforcement of CITES listings and recommends actions to help resolve 
this issue, the United States does not propose to submit it for 
discussion at COP12.
7. Validity of permits
    Safari Club International (SCI) proposed that the United States 
submit a resolution to address the practice of not issuing 
retrospective permits or re-issuing permits to correct errors that were 
the fault of the issuing Management Authority. SCI expressed the 
opinion that this is an unfair practice that penalizes the importer for 
permit errors that are beyond their control. SCI submitted a draft 
resolution that recommends that Parties consider a permit valid if it 
contains all of the information and items required in Articles IV and 
VI of the Convention. The draft resolution provided by SCI goes on to 
state that the Management Authority of the importing country should 
clear any shipments accompanied by an apparently valid permit, even if 
there are some irregularities in the permit. Once the shipment is 
cleared, the Management Authority of the importing country would 
consult with the exporting country to rectify the irregularities. In 
cases where the permit does not contain all of the required 
information, but it appears from information provided by the importer 
or exporter, or otherwise available to the importing authorities, that 
the error in the permit was made by the issuing authority, the shipment 
would be released for entry, subject to recall, and the importing 
authority should open consultations with the issuing authority. In 
addition, the resolution would allow the import of a shipment without 
being cleared when appropriate authorities are not present at the time 
of import, provided that the shipment was not for primarily commercial 
purposes, the permit was surrendered to the importing authorities 
within 90 days of import, and the surrendered permit is accompanied by 
a sworn statement that no appropriate Customs or other official was 
present at the time of import to receive the permit.
    The Parties have established procedures through Resolutions Conf. 
9.9, 10.2 (Rev.), 10.6, 10.10 (Rev.), 10.14, 10.15 (Rev.), 11.3, and 
11.18, which establish requirements on the retrospective issuance of 
permits to correct errors in previously issued permits, for information 
that must be provided on a permit, and how a permit should be handled. 
The United States does not see a need to establish another resolution 
to address these issues. In addition, it would not be appropriate to 
propose a resolution that undermines current procedures. The validity 
of a permit must be established at the time of import, and the import 
must be cleared by the appropriate authorities, as established by the 
Convention, CITES resolutions, and domestic regulations. The purpose of 
issuing export permits is to ensure that a shipment contains the items 
that have been authorized for export. The need for the appropriate 
officials to review the permit and clear the shipment is the basis for 
trade controls established by CITES. Therefore, the United States does 
not plan to submit such a resolution at COP12.
8. Making non-detriment findings available upon request
    The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society recommended that the 
United States submit a resolution with provisions that require 
Scientific Authorities to make copies of non-detriment findings 
available on request and enable the Plants Committee and Animals 
Committee to assess the adequacy of non-detriment findings. Although we 
believe both ideas have merit, because they would increase the 
transparency of CITES implementation by the Parties, the United States 
is not likely to submit such a resolution for consideration at COP12. 
We believe that the Significant Trade Review process (Resolution Conf. 
8.9 (Rev.)) provides an important basis for assessing the adequacy of 
biological and other information used to make export findings. 
Furthermore, the CITES Secretariat has embarked on a program, pursuant 
to Doc. 11.40 (Assistance to Scientific Authorities for Making Non-
detriment Findings) adopted at COP11, to provide technical assistance 
to selected Scientific Authorities to improve their ability to make 
non-detriment findings through a series of regional training workshops. 
These workshops are scheduled to run through the first part of 2003. 
The United States believes it would be premature to pursue a resolution 
on non-detriment findings prior to completion of this training program.

III. Recommendations for Species Proposals for the United States to 
Consider Submitting at COP12

    We published a notice in the Federal Register on June 12, 2001 (66 
FR 31686), in which we requested information and recommendations on 
potential species amendments for the United States to consider 
proposing at COP12. In addition to possible species proposals that we 
have been developing on our own, we received recommendations from the 
public for possible proposals involving 64 taxa (three families, 14 
genera, and 47 individual species). We note, however, that the vast 
majority of comments involved statements of support or disagreement for 
given species proposals, with no biological or trade information 
supporting such statements. We have undertaken initial assessments of 
the available trade and biological information on all of these taxa. 
Based on these assessments, we have made provisional determinations of 
whether or not to proceed with the development of proposals to list or 
delist species, or transfer them from one Appendix to another. These 
determinations were made by considering the quality of biological and 
trade information available on the species; the presence, absence, and 
effectiveness of other mechanisms that may preclude the need for a 
CITES listing (e.g., range country actions or other international 
agreements); and availability of resources. Furthermore, our assignment 
of a taxon to one of these categories, which reflects the likelihood of 
our submitting a proposal, included consideration of the following

[[Page 19215]]

factors, reflecting the U.S. approach for COP12 discussed above:
    (1) Is it a native U.S. species that is or may be significantly 
affected by trade, or if it is a currently listed U.S. species, does 
the listing accurately reflect the biological and trade status of the 
    (2) Is it a native U.S. species that is not at this time 
significantly impacted by trade within the United States, but is being 
significantly impacted elsewhere in its range?
    (3) Is it a foreign species, not native to the United States, but 
which is or may be significantly affected by trade and the United 
States is a significant component of the trade (i.e., as an importing 
    (4) Is it a species for which the United States is neither a range 
country nor a country significantly involved in trade, but for which 
trade is a serious threat to the continued existence of the species, 
other mechanisms are lacking or ineffective for bringing trade under 
control, and action is urgently needed?
    Below, we have provided the actions that the United States is 
considering taking for COP12 with regard to all of the species 
proposals recommended by the public, as well as possible species 
proposals we have been developing on our own.

A. What Species Proposals is the United States Likely to Submit for 
Consideration at COP12?

    The United States is likely to develop and submit proposals for the 
following taxa. We welcome your comments, especially any biological or 
trade information on these species. For each species, more detailed 
information is on file in the Division of Scientific Authority than is 
presented in the summary below. For some of the species below, 
particularly those not native to the United States, additional 
consultations with range countries and knowledgeable experts is 
proceeding (see discussion), and a final decision is pending the 
outcome of those consultations.
1. Cacti (Sclerocactus nyensis and Sclerocactus spinosior blainei [=S. 
blainei])--Proposal for transfer from Appendix II to Appendix I
    Sclerocactus nyensis is a very rare U.S. endemic species of cactus, 
occurring only in two counties in the State of Nevada. Sclerocactus 
spinosior blainei is another U.S. endemic species of cactus that is 
known from only three localities in southern Nevada and Utah. Both 
species were listed in Appendix II on July 1, 1975. The Management 
Authority of Switzerland has recommended that we consider listing these 
species in Appendix I. Threats to the species include hobby collecting, 
agricultural and industrial development, off-road vehicle use, and 
highway maintenance. The Nevada Natural Heritage Program protects 
location information for both species because they are considered 
especially vulnerable to poaching, vandalism, harassment, and hobby 
collecting. Both cacti are given special status in the State of Nevada 
and this status is also recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Land 
Management. Seeds of S. nyensis and S. spinosior blainei are available 
on the Internet from Websites located in the Netherlands, Germany, 
Malta, Austria, and the Czech Republic, indicating that international 
demand for the species exists and international trade occurs. For these 
reasons, we currently plan to propose these two species for transfer to 
CITES Appendix I.
2. Santa Barbara Island dudleya (Dudleya traskiae)--Proposal for 
transfer from Appendix I to Appendix II
    Dudleya traskiae is confined to a small island off the coast of 
California, where there are fewer than 100 individuals in fewer than a 
dozen populations. This species was listed in CITES Appendix I in 1983. 
It was proposed for downlisting to Appendix II by Switzerland, as the 
Depositary Government for CITES, at COP11 in April 2000. The proposal 
was withdrawn as the result of discussions in which the United States 
agreed to undertake further review of the species prior to COP12. 
Dudleya traskiae has been listed as Endangered under the U.S. 
Endangered Species Act since 1978. It is also listed as Endangered by 
the World Conservation Union (IUCN), as well as Endangered by the State 
of California (since 1979). The primary threats to D. traskiae are fire 
and competition from exotic vegetation. Though it is valued as an 
ornamental, collection of individuals from the wild does not appear to 
be a threat at the present time. International demand for this species 
is minimal or non-existent, though there is trade in specimens 
cultivated both within and outside the United States. For these 
reasons, the United States is considering submitting a proposal to 
transfer D. traskiae from CITES Appendix I to II.
3. Maguire's Lewisia (Lewisia maguirei)--Proposal for Removal From 
Appendix II
    Lewisia maguirei is known only from eight sites, all within a very 
restricted area of Nye County, Nevada. This species was listed in CITES 
Appendix II in 1983. It was proposed for delisting by Switzerland, as 
the Depositary Government for CITES, at COP11. The proposal was 
withdrawn as the result of discussions in which the United States 
agreed to undertake further review of the species prior to COP12. 
Lewisia maguirei is listed as Endangered by the IUCN. It is protected 
from most threats, except mineral exploration and development, by its 
high-elevation habitat. Though this species has ornamental value, 
international trade is not a significant threat since few applications 
to export this species have been received, and no trade has been 
recorded since it was listed. For these reasons, the United States is 
considering submitting a proposal to remove L. maguirei from CITES 
Appendix II.

Reptiles and Amphibians

4. Orange-Throated Whiptail Lizard (Cnemidophorus hyperythrus)--
Proposal for Removal From Appendix II
    The orange-throated whiptail lizard was listed in CITES Appendix II 
when CITES went into effect on July 1, 1975. The Western Association of 
Fish and Wildlife Agencies has requested that the species be removed 
from the Appendices. The orange-throated whiptail lizard is limited to 
southwestern California in the United States and Baja California in 
Mexico, including eight islands in the Gulf of California and two 
islands in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. 
Information on the population status of the orange-throated whiptail 
lizard is limited. In San Diego, California, the status of the species 
is considered ``seriously depleted.'' Population surveys in Mexico have 
been conducted only on three islands in the Gulf of California, where 
the species appears to be abundant and populations remain stable. The 
primary threat to C. hyperythrus is loss of suitable contiguous habitat 
to urban, commercial, and agricultural development. This threat of 
habitat loss could be further exacerbated by commercial trade. However, 
CITES trade data from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) 
suggest that legal commercial trade in the species in recent years has 
been limited, involving primarily scientific specimens. Our Division of 
Law Enforcement does not have any specific information that indicates 
there is illegal trade in this species.
    In the State of California, C. hyperythrus is listed as 
``protected,'' and permits to collect and/or possess the

[[Page 19216]]

species are granted by the California Department of Fish and Game only 
for scientific purposes. Additionally, California prohibits the sale of 
all its native species and requires permits for the sale of native 
reptiles by biological supply houses to scientific and educational 
institutions. In Mexico, the species is categorized as ``threatened'' 
and ``rare,'' and commercial export of wild-caught specimens of native 
species is prohibited. Therefore, since trade does not appear to be a 
threat to the species and the species is protected by domestic 
legislation in both range countries, the United States is considering 
submitting a proposal to remove C. hyperythrus from CITES Appendix II, 
an action supported by the Mexican Scientific Authority.

B. On what species proposals is the United States still undecided, 
pending additional information and consultations?

    The United States is still undecided on whether to develop COP12 
proposals for the following taxa. In some cases, we have not completed 
our consultation with relevant range countries. In other cases, 
meetings of experts are expected to occur in the immediate future and 
generate important recommendations, trade analyses, or biological 
information on the taxon in question. See the discussions below for 
more detail. For each species, more detailed information is available 
in the Division of Scientific Authority than is presented in the 
summary below. We welcome your comments, and especially any biological 
and trade information on these species. We delineate what additional 
information we are seeking or have sought to assist us in making our 
1. Ironwood (Olneya tesota)--Proposal for inclusion in Appendix II
    Ironwood is a long-lived tree and keystone species of the Sonoran 
Desert in southwestern Arizona, southeastern California, and 
northwestern Mexico. It often grows in mixed stands with mesquite 
(Prosopsis spp.). Ironwood has not previously been proposed for CITES 
listing. Representatives of our Law Enforcement Division and SEMARNAP/
PROFEPA (Mexico's wildlife law enforcement agency) have recommended 
that the species be considered for inclusion in CITES Appendix II. The 
primary threats to O. tesota are charcoal making, wood cutting for 
commercial craft production, land conversion, and altered burning 
regimes and competition from exotic buffelgrass. U.S. tourists are the 
primary market for ironwood carvings, which have been produced in 
Mexico at a rate that has rapidly depleted the local supply of 
ironwood. In addition, ironwood is harvested with mesquite to meet 
American consumer demands for mesquite charcoal because including it in 
bags of mesquite charcoal makes a heavier product per volume and 
woodcutters are paid by weight.
    Spot checks of mesquite charcoal bags from Sonora in the early 
1990s demonstrated that ironwood constituted from 10 to 40 percent of 
the export volume at that time. Ironwood is extremely slow to recover 
after harvest. Populations are declining rapidly, especially in Mexico. 
Wood cutting for charcoal production, fuelwood, and the carving 
industry is estimated to have caused an average of 17 percent reduction 
in ironwood's dominance in the vegetation of studied areas. Ironwood 
has been given special protected status in Mexico, where permits to cut 
it are required, but enforcement is difficult. It is also of increasing 
conservation concern in the United States, where habitat destruction is 
the main threat, but illegal collection has been documented from Organ 
Pipe Cactus National Monument and other protected areas. For these 
reasons, the United States is considering submitting a proposal to list 
ironwood in Appendix II. We are consulting with Mexico regarding this 
2. Lignum vitae (Guaiacum coulteri, Guaiacum unijugum, and Guaiacum 
angustifolium)--Proposal for inclusion in Appendix II
    Guaiacum is a genus of neotropical evergreen trees distributed 
throughout Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. There is great taxonomic 
confusion regarding this genus, but we consider there to be only five 
true species of Guaiacum. In addition to G. sanctum L. and G. 
officinale L., which are already listed in CITES Appendix II, the other 
recognized species are G. coulteri A. Gray, G. unijugum Brandegee, and 
G. angustifolium Engelm. Guaiacum coulteri and G. unijugum are endemic 
to Mexico; the former is distributed along the Pacific slope from 
Oaxaca to Sonora, and the latter is restricted to the eastern shore of 
the Cape Region in Baja California. Guaiacum angustifolium occurs in 
northern Mexico and southern Texas. Other taxa that range into Central 
America are either synonyms of G. sanctum or hybrids of G. sanctum and 
G. coulteri. Guaiacum coulteri, G. unijugum, and G. angustifolium are 
not currently listed under CITES and have not previously been proposed 
for CITES listing. After conducting an extensive review of the status 
of the species, students from the University of Maryland Sustainable 
Development and Conservation Biology Program have recommended that 
these species be considered for Appendix II. The primary threat to the 
genus Guaiacum is habitat loss and over-exploitation. A small but 
stable international market for Guaiacum in Asia, Europe, and North 
America drives exports from several range countries, including Mexico.
    Difficulty in differentiating among Guaiacum species in trade 
justifies listing the entire genus in Appendix II. In particular, there 
is enough confusion over the identity of G. coulteri that significant 
trade in this species could be occurring under the name G. sanctum. 
Guaiacum coulteri also qualifies for Appendix II listing in its own 
right. Several experts have expressed concern over its status, since it 
is likely to be declining in Mexico. Habitat degradation is especially 
problematic for this species, and unregulated trade could exacerbate 
its decline. For these reasons, the United States is considering 
whether to submit a proposal to list the remainder of the genus 
Guaiacum in Appendix II. We are consulting with Mexico and other range 
countries with regard to this possibility.
3. Orchids--Proposal to annotate the listing of Orchidaceae in Appendix 
II to exempt certain artificially propagated hybrids from CITES 
permitting requirements
    The orchid family is among the largest families of flowering 
plants, with over 20,000 species in about 900 genera. Orchids occur on 
every continent except Antarctica, with a concentration of distribution 
in the tropics, and they occur in a wide variety of habitats. Orchids 
are also among the most widely recognized and popular horticultural 
plants, with a growing international demand in recent years. Annual 
wholesale figures for orchids in the United States alone have now 
topped 100 million dollars. Millions of plants are documented in trade, 
based on CITES trade data, and most of these are artificially 
propagated. At the ninth meeting of the CITES Plants Committee in June 
1999, the Plants Committee agreed to review the listing of Orchidaceae 
as part of the ongoing Review of the Appendices. Using preliminary data 
assembled by the CITES Secretariat at the tenth meeting of the Plants 
Committee in December 2000, a working group (including the United 
States) established a framework for the review, which entailed a 
breakdown of the trade and assigning different genera

[[Page 19217]]

to different levels and purposes of trade. Data were provided to 
working group members by the CITES Secretariat in advance of the 
eleventh meeting of the Plants Committee in September 2001. At the 
eleventh meeting of the Plants Committee, the consensus of the working 
group was that the orchid family presented too many problems of 
similarity of appearance and uncertainty about status of the species in 
the wild. These factors precluded the possibility of a timely review, 
which ultimately might not lead to the delisting of any species. As an 
alternative, participants in the meeting agreed to study the 
possibility of exempting certain high-volume artificially propagated 
hybrids of six select genera: Cattleya, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, 
Oncidium, Phalaenopsis, and Vanda. It was decided that such a proposal 
could be considered only if clear requirements could be established for 
trading these hybrids in a manner that would preclude the exemption 
from being used as a means to circumvent trade control in other 
orchids, especially wild-collected species. In addition, it was agreed 
that such a proposal must include identification materials that would 
establish easily recognizable characteristics of plants that would 
qualify for this exemption.
    Our Division of Scientific Authority and the American Orchid 
Society are cooperating in the development of a draft proposal and 
identification materials for presentation to the Plants Committee at 
its twelfth meeting in May 2002. Depending on support from range 
countries of these orchid taxa (i.e., the six genera under 
consideration) as well as the ability of the Plants Committee to 
develop a final proposal and identification materials that will not 
result in non-exempt taxa being traded without permits, the United 
States may co-sponsor a proposal to exempt selected high-volume 
artificially propagated orchid hybrids from the listing of orchids in 
Appendix II.
4. Yew (Taxus spp.)--Proposal for inclusion in Appendix II
    Bristol-Myers Squibb Company has suggested that the United States 
propose various yew species (Taxus yunnanensis, T. chinensis, T. 
celebica, T. cuspidata, and T. fuana) for listing in CITES Appendix II. 
Yews are slow-growing, long-lived conifers found in temperate forest 
regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. Yews range in size from 
small forest trees to shrubs and are often found growing in shaded 
conditions. The bark and needles of yew contain the chemical compound 
taxol, which is used in the treatment of various cancers. International 
trade in yew for taxol extraction is significant throughout the range 
of the genus, especially in the Eastern Hemisphere. As a result, the 
Himalayan yew T. wallichiana (synonym T. baccata wallichiana), native 
to southeast Asia, was listed in Appendix II of CITES on February 16, 
1995. However, prior to listing, both the CITES Secretariat and the 
IUCN Species Survival Commission expressed concerns regarding taxonomic 
difficulties within the genus and the ability of Parties to enforce 
CITES provisions for the species because all yews look very similar in 
appearance. Historically, the taxonomy of the genus has been based on 
leaf characteristics and geographical distribution of distinct taxa. 
Worldwide, 6 to 20 species of Taxus are recognized, depending on the 
reference. The United States submitted two documents at the tenth and 
eleventh meetings of the Plants Committee on the current status of the 
nomenclature of the genus as it relates to conservation of the taxa in 
the wild.
    At the eleventh meeting of the Plants Committee, the Nomenclature 
Committee recommended that the World Checklist and Bibliography of 
Conifers by Aljos Farjon (1998), and its updates, be used by the CITES 
Parties as the standard reference for Taxus to reduce the confusion 
regarding the nomenclature of the genus. Furthermore, the Plants 
Committee recommended that the present listing of T. wallichiana be 
reviewed to provide adequate protection for any species within the 
genus that may be in trade and require regulation. Information from 
various sources indicates that the trade in yew parts and derivatives, 
other than those from T. wallichiana, for the pharmaceutical industry 
has increased substantially since the listing of the one species in 
1995. Large volumes of T. yunnanensis are reportedly exported from 
Myanmar. Several pharmaceutical companies in the United States are 
importing paclitaxel derived from T. yunnanensis from China. The United 
States will be pursuing these and other pertinent issues concerning the 
genus Taxus at the twelfth meeting of the Plants Committee in May 2002. 
In the meantime, the United States will consult with Canada, China, and 
other range countries about supporting or co-sponsoring an Appendix II 
listing proposal of the genus Taxus at COP12.
5. Sea cucumbers (26 Species in the Families Holothuridae and 
Stichopodidae)--Proposal for Inclusion in Appendix II
    Sea cucumbers are slow-moving animals that live on the seafloor in 
sand, mud, and reef environments. They are distributed worldwide from 
intertidal zones to deep-sea environments. The United States has 
several native species of sea cucumbers, with active fisheries in 
several States. Sea cucumbers have not previously been proposed for 
CITES listing. They are important components of the food chain in coral 
reefs and associated ecosystems at various trophic levels, and they 
play an important role as deposit feeders and suspension feeders. Rapid 
declines in sea cucumber populations may have serious consequences for 
the survival of other species that are part of the same complex food 
web because the eggs, larvae, and juveniles constitute an important 
food source for other marine species, including crustaceans, fish, and 
mollusks. Sea cucumbers ingest large amounts of sediment, turning over 
the top layers of sediment in lagoons, reefs, and other habitats, and 
allowing oxygenation of sediment layers, much like earthworms do on 
land. This process prevents the build-up of decaying organic matter and 
may help control populations of pest and pathogenic organisms, 
including certain bacteria and cyanobacterial mats. Over-exploitation 
has caused a hardening of the sea floor, eliminating habitat for other 
benthic and infaunal organisms. Sea cucumbers have been harvested 
commercially for at least 1,000 years, but the demand in Asian markets 
worldwide has led to a dramatic increase in international trade for 
food beginning in the late 1980s and early 1990s, reaching a global 
annual volume of about 12,000 metric tons of dried sea cucumber 
(120,000 tons live). Since the mid-1990s, additional markets emerged 
for natural health products research and home aquaria.
    Sea cucumbers are sedentary animals that are especially susceptible 
to over-exploitation because they are large, easily collected, and do 
not require sophisticated fishing techniques. Reduction of population 
densities by fishing may render remaining individuals incapable of 
successful reproduction, due to the greater distance between males and 
females. The fishery for the two most valuable species (Holothuria 
nobilis and H. scabra) has collapsed in a number of locations due to 
over-fishing, and significant declines have been noted in many South 

[[Page 19218]]

and Southeast Asian locations. Given the past and continuing levels of 
exploitation to meet international demand, and documented declines or 
extirpations in some areas, we believe that Holothuridae and 
Stichopodidae meet the criteria for inclusion in Appendix II. We 
believe that a family-level listing for the most heavily traded taxa 
(26 species in the two families mentioned) would be most appropriate 
given the indiscriminate fishery and similarity between dried specimens 
in trade. The United States seeks additional information (particularly 
on abundance, identification techniques, trade volumes, and other range 
country interest in CITES listing) while considering an Appendix-II 
listing proposal for sea cucumbers.
6. Humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus)--Proposal for Inclusion in 
Either Appendix I or Appendix II
    The humphead or Napolean wrasse is found in coral reef and channel 
slope habitats throughout much of the Red Sea, the Indo-Pacific, and 
Micronesia. It has not previously been proposed for CITES listing. 
Humphead wrasse is the largest member of the family Labridae and is 
particularly vulnerable to over-exploitation due to its life history, 
including slow growth, late maturity, long life, complex social 
structure, and sex reversal. Despite its widespread distribution, the 
species is uncommon throughout its range and is subject to over-
fishing. Although humphead wrasse are generally found in small social 
units, they have historically formed large aggregations during peak 
reproductive periods. Targeting of wrasse and grouper spawning 
aggregations has led to the elimination of breeding populations from 
some locations after two to four years of intensive fishing. 
Furthermore, harvest of immature individuals results in poor 
recruitment to the spawning population and skewed sex ratios, since 
many species begin life as females and metamorphose into males.
    The primary threat to the species is over-harvest for the live reef 
food fish trade (LRFFT), which is driven largely by luxury food markets 
in Hong Kong, mainland China, and other Asian countries. Because of the 
high international demand and value of the LRFFT (estimated at 32,000 
metric tons and 500 million dollars for Hong Kong wholesale markets in 
1997), the LRFFT has emerged as the greatest immediate threat to Indo-
Pacific grouper and wrasse populations. The trade involves more than 
ten popular taxa, with rare species such as humphead wrasse commanding 
the highest prices (up to 174 dollars per kilogram or 87 dollars per 
pound). The LRFFT has rapidly expanded throughout Southeast Asia, the 
South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean due to an increasing demand and 
rapid elimination of the humphead wrasse and other large, economically 
desirable fish on heavily exploited reefs.
    Researchers remain concerned over the status of the humphead wrasse 
because of its importance as a luxury food item and a high value that 
is predicted to increase with increasing rarity, which will encourage 
continued exploitation as stocks continue to decline. Also, because of 
the difficulty in capturing humphead wrasse and groupers alive, the 
LRFFT has been a principal driver in the spread of highly destructive 
cyanide fishing throughout the Indo-Pacific. Cyanide use is illegal in 
most countries and is known to cause considerable habitat damage and 
mortality to small, non-target reef fish and invertebrates. Due to 
documented declines, humphead wrasse are banned from export in many 
areas of the Indo-Pacific (e.g., the Maldives, certain parts of the 
Philippines, and Indonesia for certain size classes). Nonetheless, 1997 
Hong Kong data showed that the species is still imported from these 
locations. The humphead wrasse is listed as vulnerable in the 1996 IUCN 
Red List because of severe declines in sizes and numbers in Southeast 
Asia (attributed to the LRFFT). There is no regional management program 
currently in place for the LRFFT. Continued illegal and unsustainable 
trade, lack of coordinated management, a vulnerable life history, and 
the prominence of international markets suggest that humphead wrasse 
qualify for listing in Appendix II or perhaps Appendix I of CITES, and 
the United States is interested in pursuing a possible listing proposal 
with involved range countries.
    While we are not considering other species of groupers and wrasses 
for listing at this time, the United States is also interested in 
gathering more information on other high value species in the LRFFT, 
such as high-finned grouper (Cromileptes altivelus) and giant grouper 
(Epinephelus lanceolatus). All of these species are distinct in 
appearance and almost exclusively traded alive in international 
markets, and thus the United States does not foresee complications or 
confusions with look-alike fishery products from other grouper species 
that are traded in processed form.
7. Seahorses, Pipefishes, Pipehorses, and Seadragons (Family 
Syngnathidae)--Proposal for Inclusion in Appendix II
    There are approximately 215 species of syngnathids in about 35 
genera, including 35 species of seahorses (Hippocampus spp.). Species 
are found in freshwater, brackish, and marine environments. Pipefishes 
can be found to depths of over 400 meters, and the two species of 
seadragons are endemic to Australian waters. Seahorses live among sea 
grasses, mangroves, and coral reefs throughout the tropics and 
subtropics, as well as pilings, grass beds, and other habitats in 
tropical and temperate areas between 52 degrees north and 45 degrees 
south latitude. Most species of seahorses occur in the tropical western 
Atlantic or Indo-Pacific regions. Life-history strategies of seahorses 
and other syngnathids make populations susceptible to over-
exploitation. These taxa are characterized by sparse distributions, low 
mobility, small home ranges, low natural adult mortality, low 
fecundity, long parental care, and varying degrees of mate fidelity.
    Life-history characteristics, heavy fishing pressure to supply 
international demand, by-catch in trawl fisheries, degradation and loss 
of habitat, and pollution represent the primary threats to syngnathids. 
A rapidly growing trade in pipehorses and seahorses (primarily for 
traditional Chinese medicine and its derivatives, with a smaller but 
significant trade to supply aquarium pets, souvenirs, and curios) is 
resulting in over-exploitation of wild populations. Seahorses are 
caught by subsistence fishers by hand, scoop net, or small seine. They 
also occur as by-catch in shrimp trawlers and other forms of net 
fishing. It is estimated that at least 20 million seahorses are 
captured annually from the wild, with the bulk originating in 20 
countries. The largest importing jurisdictions are mainland China, Hong 
Kong, and Taiwan, with an estimated annual consumption of 45 tons (16 
million seahorses) in Asia. Seahorses and pipehorses are sold as whole 
dried animals for preparation in tonics. There has been a recent 
increase in numbers of seahorses, pipehorses, and pipefish used in 
prepared medicines (e.g., pills) in Asia, possibly in response to 
decreases in size of individuals obtained in fisheries catch. The 
United States intends to consult with range countries and relevant 
organizations (e.g., Project Seahorse, an international research and 
trade forum) on the merits of an Appendix-II listing proposal. This 

[[Page 19219]]

be greatly facilitated by a CITES-sponsored workshop on syngnathid 
conservation, tentatively scheduled for Spring 2002.
Reptiles and Amphibians
8. Asian Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises--Proposals for Inclusion in 
Appendices I and II
    A large number of Asian freshwater turtles and tortoises are 
threatened by over-exploitation for the food and pet trades. We 
previously evaluated some of these species for COP11 (Southeast Asian 
softshell turtles [Trionychidae], Malaysian giant turtle [Orlitia 
borneensis], and Burmese roofed turtle [Kachuga trivittata]), but found 
the data on population status and exploitation to be insufficient to 
support a CITES listing proposal for any of the taxa at that time. 
Since COP11, there has been considerable international focus on the 
status of and trade in Asian freshwater turtles and tortoises, 
culminating in the August 2000 publication of Asian Turtle Trade: 
Proceedings of a Workshop on Conservation and Trade of Freshwater 
Turtles and Tortoises in Asia. These proceedings indicate that a number 
of Asian turtle and tortoise species qualify for inclusion in Appendix 
II or transfer from Appendix II to I. We noted a number of these taxa 
in our initial June 12, 2001, Federal Register notice on COP12. In 
response to that notice, a number of commenters supported listing or 
uplisting various taxa, while one commenter opposed listing individual 
taxa but supported listing all Asian turtles in Appendix II. One 
organization provided considerable supporting information for listings 
of Kachuga spp., Chitra spp., Pelochelys spp., and Amyda cartilagina, 
and uplisting of Cuora spp. We are aware of considerable interest on 
the part of other CITES Parties, including range countries, to submit 
listing proposals for Asian turtle taxa, including Heosemys spp, 
Mauremys spp., and Orilitia borneensis. We also believe that additional 
taxa, including Carettochelys insculpta and Platysternon megacephalum, 
qualify for listing whereas certain other taxa qualify for uplisting.
    A CITES-sponsored Workshop on Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises was 
held in China in March 2002. This workshop brought together range and 
consuming country representatives and international turtle 
conservationists to address the critical issues of turtle conservation, 
focusing on Asian freshwater turtles and tortoises. Among the issues 
discussed were CITES listing needs for Asian turtles. The United States 
participated in that workshop and will help determine which taxa are 
the highest priorities for CITES listing, and which country or 
countries might sponsor proposals for such listings. We will focus on 
garnering range country support and sponsorship for the highest-
priority taxa, and will offer our assistance in the preparation of 
proposals. The United States may wish to co-sponsor certain of these 
proposals, or submit them on its own if a suitable range country 
sponsor does not come forward. For this reason, the United States 
remains undecided on submitting proposals for Asian freshwater turtle 
and tortoise taxa for consideration at COP12, pending analysis of the 
outcome of the workshop and further consultation with other CITES 
9. North American Softshell Turtles (Apalone spp.)--Proposal for 
Inclusion in Appendix II
    There are three species of North American softshell turtles. Some 
authorities place these species in the genus Trionyx, whereas others 
place them in the genus Apalone. North American softshell turtles are 
not currently listed under CITES and have not previously been proposed 
for CITES listing. The three Apalone species, Apalone spinifera, A. 
mutica, and A. ferox, occur in the eastern, southeastern, and 
midwestern United States, respectively. Apalone mutica ranges into 
northern Mexico and A. spinifera ranges into southern Canada. These 
turtles are threatened by habitat loss and modification, and by harvest 
for the pet trade and human consumption. Records show that, since the 
early 1990s, U.S. exports of Apalone spp. have been generally 
increasing with some fluctuation between years. Since 1993, at least 
10,000 softshell turtles per year were exported from the United States. 
For several years the recorded number exported exceeded 30,000 turtles. 
From our records, we are unable to determine if the origin of these 
turtles is wild or captive, so the impact of the trade on wild 
populations is difficult to assess.
    In addition, few populations of Apalone have been well studied and 
the effects of harvest on populations is poorly documented. The U.S. 
Geological Survey is currently assessing the status of North American 
turtle species, including the softshells. Also, the CITES Secretariat 
conducted a Workshop on Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises in March 2002 
(see ``Asian freshwater turtles and tortoises'' above). Since North 
American softshell turtles are in the Family Trionychinae, which also 
includes several Asian species of softshell turtles, we expect that the 
outcome of the workshop may have relevance to conservation of North 
American softshell turtles. Therefore, the United States intends to 
analyze the results of the workshop to determine whether or not it will 
propose these species for listing in CITES Appendix II.
10. Spiny-tailed Lizards (Uromastyx spp.)--Proposal for Transfer From 
Appendix II to Appendix I
    Uromastyx lizards inhabit the arid regions of northwest India, 
southwestern Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Sahara of northern 
Africa. CITES currently recognizes 14 species. Uromastyx aegyptia 
(including U. microlepis) was listed in Appendix III by Tunisia on 
April 22, 1976. All species in the genus Uromastyx were subsequently 
listed in Appendix II on February 4, 1977. No other proposals have been 
submitted since. At its fifteenth meeting in July 1999, the CITES 
Animals Committee reviewed the status of U. aegyptia (Egyptian spiny-
tailed lizard) as part of Phase IV of the Significant Trade Review 
process, pursuant to Resolution Conf. 8.9 (Rev.) (Trade in specimens of 
Appendix-II species taken from the wild.). Based on the information 
available at the time, the species was categorized as a ``species with 
insufficient information'' (category d (ii) of Decision 10.79 d); now 
category 2 of Decision 11.106 g)). Because most of the trade in the 
species originated in Egypt, the Animals Committee issued primary 
recommendations to that country, through the CITES Secretariat, 
requesting additional information about Egypt's policy on the export of 
the species, number of specimens exported between 1997 and 1999, and 
scientific basis for permitting export of the species. Because Egypt 
failed to respond to the Animals Committee within the 90-day deadline 
established by Resolution Conf. 8.9 (Rev.), the CITES Secretariat 
recommended to the CITES Standing Committee at its forty-fifth meeting 
(June 2001) that all Parties suspend imports of specimens of U. 
aegyptia from Egypt until the Animals Committee recommendations are 
implemented. However, during the meeting, Egypt informed the Standing 
Committee that it was conducting a survey of the species and that 
export of the species was prohibited. Consequently, the Standing 
Committee agreed not to take further actions. However, the Standing 
Committee agreed to re-impose the Animals Committee primary 
recommendations if trade in the species is re-opened.
    The primary threats to Uromastyx lizards are over-collection and 

[[Page 19220]]

distribution of individual species. Most range countries have laws 
prohibiting domestic and international trade in Uromastyx spp. However, 
these laws are not always complied with. Spiny-tailed lizards are 
traded as pets (live animals) and souvenirs (stuffed animals). In the 
case of specimens traded as pets, many die during import or soon after 
arrival. Some species are smuggled out of their country of origin and 
then imported into the United States and Europe through a third country 
by claiming the animals as captive born. Success in breeding of spiny-
tailed lizards in captivity has been limited. There are currently seven 
species of Uromastyx kept in captivity: U. maliensis, U. ocellatus, U. 
acanthinurus, U. aegyptius, U. benti, U. philbyi, and U. hardwicki. The 
vast majority of the young spiny-tails available in the pet trade are 
wild-caught. According to WCMC, over 70,000 live specimens of Uromastyx 
spp. were traded between 1990 and 2000, mostly U. acanthinurus and U. 
maliensis (considered by some as a subspecies of U. acanthinurus). The 
number of U. acanthinurus and U. maliensis exported increased from 50 
in 1990 to almost 20,850 in 1998. However, information on population 
trends for wild populations is lacking. The United States intends to 
consult with range countries of Uromastyx species to gather additional 
status information and to ascertain their interest in sponsoring or co-
sponsoring an Appendix-I uplisting proposal.
11. Black Sea Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus ponticus)--
Proposal for Transfer From Appendix II to Appendix I
    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were included in Appendix 
II on June 28, 1979, and are distributed worldwide in temperate and 
tropical waters. The subspecies; Tursiops truncatus ponticus is endemic 
to the Black Sea, isolated from other populations of bottlenose 
dolphins in the Mediterranean and other waters. Black Sea bottlenose 
dolphins look almost identical to those from other regions, and their 
genetic distinctness is unknown. At COP11, the United States withdrew a 
proposal to transfer the subspecies to Appendix I when Georgia (co-
sponsor and range country) could not attend. It is believed that 
overall abundance of dolphins in the Black Sea has declined greatly due 
to over-exploitation into the 1980s for human consumption and 
industrial products. A large purse-seine fishery conducted by the 
former Soviet Union, Bulgaria, and Romania collapsed in the 1960s due 
to over-harvest, and large takes by rifle continued by Turkey until a 
ban in 1983. The proportions of the three endemic small cetaceans 
(bottlenose dolphin, harbor porpoise Phocoena phocoena relicta, and 
long-beaked common dolphin Delphinus delphis ponticus) in these catches 
and their relative degrees of depletion are not known with confidence.
    The size of the present population of bottlenose dolphins is 
unknown, and no estimates exist of sustainable levels of take. The 
habitat is thought to be highly degraded and declining in quality due 
to contamination by sewage and industrial effluents, algal blooms, 
decrease in prey species due to over-fishing, and by-catch in 
fisheries. There has been a substantial international commercial trade 
in bottlenose dolphins from the Black Sea. Exporters in Russia and 
Georgia have been able to obtain CITES permits for export of bottlenose 
dolphins to several countries, including Cyprus, Malta, Turkey, Israel, 
Argentina, and Hungary, by stating that the purpose was to establish 
breeding colonies for conservation and research. In all cases, the 
actual purpose was commercial and the majority of the animals died 
during or shortly after transport. There were also some cases of 
illegal imports. Only one captive birth (in Israel) has occurred, and 
we are not aware of any scientific research that has resulted from the 
trade. As signatories to the Bern Convention, range countries Bulgaria, 
Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine have all banned possession and internal 
trade in T. truncatus. In addition, the Parties to the Bern Convention 
adopted a resolution in November 2001 urging that this subspecies be 
transferred to Appendix I. The Agreement on the Conservation of 
Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Contiguous Atlantic 
Area (ACCOBAMS) adopted a similar resolution at a meeting in February 
2002. At COP11, Parties recognized the potentially severe threats to 
Black Sea bottlenose dolphin populations and adopted Decisions 11.91 
and 11.139, which called for countries trading in T. truncatus ponticus 
to provide information on trade volumes, mortalities, and international 
management efforts, and to supply tissue samples for expert genetic 
analysis. The United States has agreed to be a repository for these 
tissue samples, and geneticists with the National Marine Fisheries 
Service are currently working to obtain Black Sea bottlenose dolphin 
specimens from range countries. Genetic comparisons between these 
samples and those from other bottlenose dolphin populations are 
critical to resolving the distinctness of the Black Sea sub-population. 
Listing subspecies in any CITES Appendix is discouraged by Resolution 
Conf. 9.24 (Criteria for amendment of Appendices I and II), unless the 
taxon in question is highly distinctive and use of the subspecies name 
would not lead to enforcement problems.
    The United States will strive to obtain samples and complete 
genetic analysis on Black Sea bottlenose dolphins to develop a 
defensible listing proposal. We will also continue our consultations 
with range countries, as well as regional management authorities, to 
obtain the latest information on population status and to identify 
sponsors or co-sponsors for a potential uplisting proposal.
12. Bobcat (Lynx rufus)--Proposal for Removal From Appendix II
    The bobcat (Lynx rufus) is found in southern Canada, the contiguous 
United States, and northern Mexico. The Wildlife Division of the Texas 
Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has recommended that the United 
States submit a proposal at COP12 to remove all bobcat populations from 
the CITES Appendices. All felids not listed in Appendix I, including 
the bobcat, were listed in Appendix II on April 2, 1977. At COP4 in 
April 1983, the United States and Canada co-sponsored proposals to 
remove from Appendix II several Canadian and U.S. populations of North 
American mammals, including the bobcat. The United States and Canada 
argued that, at the time of the original listing of the bobcat, there 
was no indication as to whether the species was intended to be listed 
because of a need to control trade and prevent the threat of extinction 
(CITES Article II.2.a) or similarity of appearance to species 
threatened by trade (CITES Article II.2.b). Because the bobcat did not 
appear to be threatened by trade and the States and Provinces managed 
its harvest, the United States and Canada believed that its removal 
from CITES controls would not threaten the continued survival of the 
species. However, at COP4, the CITES Secretariat and several Parties, 
particularly from Western Europe, opposed the bobcat delisting proposal 
on the grounds that the species was listed because of similarity of 
appearance. They feared that adoption of the proposal would create 
enforcement problems. Subsequently, the United States and Canada 
withdrew the proposal after both Parties agreed that the listing of the 
bobcat in Appendix II was warranted because of

[[Page 19221]]

similarity of appearance to other species of felids.
    In its letter to us, the TPWD included a draft delisting proposal 
containing updated information on the population and trade status of 
the bobcat in the United States, as well as a general description of 
the regulatory mechanisms adopted by U.S. States and Canadian Provinces 
to manage harvest of the species. However, the draft proposal contained 
no information on the status of the species or regulatory mechanisms in 
Mexico. The United States will consult with Canada and Mexico for 
additional information on the status of the species, as well as to 
determine if these two range countries would support or co-sponsor a 
proposal to remove the bobcat from Appendix II. We will also consult 
with our Division of Law Enforcement and enforcement authorities of 
relevant importing countries about enforcement problems that might 
arise during the inspection of wildlife shipments involving other felid 
species to better assess whether the bobcat still meets criterion B of 
Annex 2b (Criteria for the inclusion of species in Appendix II in 
accordance with Article II, paragraph 2 (b)) and should remain listed 
because of similarity of appearance.

C. What Species Proposals is the United States not Planning to Submit 
for Consideration at COP12, Unless it Receives Significant Additional 

    The United States does not intend to submit its own proposals for 
the following taxa unless we receive significant additional information 
indicating that a proposal is warranted. In some cases, we are aware 
that range countries with greater involvement in the taxon's trade or 
conservation are preparing listing proposals for COP12. The United 
States could co-sponsor or actively support such proposals. In other 
cases, available information does not support a defensible listing 
proposal. We welcome your comments, especially any biological and trade 
information on these species that may cause us to reconsider the 
submission of a proposal. For each species, more detailed information 
is available in the Division of Scientific Authority than is presented 
in the summary below. For each taxon, we describe external factors that 
diminish the need for a U.S. listing proposal or critical information 
gaps that prohibit us from developing a proposal.
1. American Matsutake or Pine Mushroom (Tricholoma magnivelare)--
Proposal for Inclusion in Appendix II
    Tricholoma magnivelare is a widespread mushroom found in boreal and 
temperate forests in North America, but is most abundant in Washington, 
Oregon, and northern California. The species has not previously been 
proposed for CITES listing. The fruiting of American matsutake can vary 
greatly in occurrence, abundance, and distribution from year to year. 
In the United States, harvesting is allowed through a permit system on 
lands managed by State and Federal agencies. Although these agencies 
issue collection permits, they do not typically monitor the quantity of 
matsutake harvested from their lands. Illegal harvest does occur on 
National Park Service lands and other Federal and State lands where 
harvest is prohibited. Nearly all harvested American matsutake is 
exported at a premium price to Asia as a substitute for the rare 
Japanese matsutake (T. matsutake). Following a review of the available 
biological and ecological information on the species, we have concluded 
that the species is widespread and abundant, and trade does not appear 
to be a threat to the species. Therefore, the United States does not 
intend to submit a proposal to list American matsutake in CITES 
Appendix II.
2. Usnea Lichen (Usnea spp.)--Proposal for Inclusion in Appendix II
    Lichens rank among the least well-known forms of life, and their 
taxonomic classification is undergoing changes. Many species of lichens 
were historically circumboreal in their distribution. More recently, 
lichens have been affected by habitat loss, air pollution, and 
commercial harvesting. Many species of usnea lichens (Usnea spp.) are 
used medicinally as an antibacterial, and as decoratives in the floral 
greens industry. The most commonly wild-harvested usnea lichens in the 
United States are Usnea barbata, U. florida, U. hirta, and U. 
longissima. Although U. longissima appears to have an extensive range 
and frequent occurrence, it is commercially collected from the wild and 
its potential habitat is clearly continually declining. Usnea 
longissima, in particular, is now listed on Red Lists in many parts of 
Europe and extirpated from much of its range in Scandinavian countries. 
Furthermore, U. longissima has a rank of G3 (at risk) in the Global 
Heritage Status ranking system, and a rank of S2.1 and S2 (imperiled) 
in California and Washington, respectively. We have anecdotal evidence 
that these species are collected from the wild at levels potentially 
exceeding sustainable rates given their long regeneration time, but we 
lack sufficient quantitative information to proceed with a listing 
proposal at this time. We will continue to compile information and 
consult with range countries and experts on the conservation and 
international trade status of Usnea spp. to determine whether a listing 
proposal may be appropriate for a future meeting of the Conference of 
the Parties to CITES.
3. Mosses--Proposal for Inclusion in Appendix II
    Our June 12, 2001, Federal Register notice listed ten species of 
mosses that are known to be wild collected: hanging moss (Antitrichia 
curtipendula), log mosses (Eurhynchium oreganum, Thuidium delicatulum, 
Hypnum curvifolium, and H. imponens), cat-tail moss (Isothecium 
myosuroides), Menzie's neckera (Metaneckera menziesii), Douglas' 
neckera (Neckera douglasii), lanky moss (Rhytidiadelphus loreus), and 
goose neck moss (Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus). We received two comments 
recommending several additional species: rough moss (Claopodium 
crispifolium), Sanionia uncinata, Thudium recognitum, and the genus 
Hypnum, which includes approximately 20 species. The moss Claopodium 
crispifolium is commercially harvested, whereas the other taxa were 
suggested due to similarity of appearance among species. None of these 
species has previously been proposed for CITES listing. These species 
of mosses are generally widespread throughout their respective ranges. 
The distributions of some of these species outside North America and 
western Europe are incompletely known.
    The moss species Claopodium crispifolium, Eurhynchium oregana, 
Isothecium spiculiferum, Isothecium stoloniferum, and Neckera douglasii 
are native to the Pacific Northwest of North America. Three species, 
Antitrichia curtipendula, Metaneckera menziesii, and Rhytidiadelphus 
loreus are also predominately found in the Pacific Northwest of North 
America. Additionally, Antitrichia curtipendula is found in Europe and 
Africa; Rhytidiadelphus loreus in Europe and China; and Metaneckera 
menziesii in Asia. Hypnum curvifolium and H. imponens are distributed 
from the

[[Page 19222]]

Midwest to the East Coast of North America. Thuidium delicatulum is 
found in North, Central, and South America, Europe, and Asia. Hypnum 
imponens occurs in Europe. Isothecium myosuroides is found in North 
America and Europe. Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus, Thuidium recognitum, 
and most of the species in the genus Hypnum are circumboreal species 
found throughout the United States and Canada, Europe, and Asia. 
Sanionia uncinata has been reported to occur in North and South 
America, Europe, and Asia. Typically, these moss species are found in 
mixed-conifer/hardwood forests. Whole plants are harvested as mats, 
which are easily peeled off limbs and logs, forming a kind of moss 
``pelt.'' Moss pelts are sold internationally and domestically as 
packing material in the horticulture trade and for decorations in the 
floral greens industry. The United States exports primarily to the 
Netherlands and Germany.
    The majority of harvested mosses of the United States is 
concentrated in two geographical areas: the Pacific Northwest and the 
Appalachian Mountains. In the Pacific Northwest the commercial demand 
for mosses has increased steadily since the 1980s. For example, on one 
particular Pacific Northwest National Forest, permits have been issued 
for the harvest of 25,000 bushels of moss annually since 1989. 
Estimates based on permits for moss harvest on publicly owned lands in 
northwest Oregon are more than 500,000 pounds per year, and illegal 
harvest is thought to be at least twice the legal harvest. Very little 
is known about growth and recovery following commercial harvest of moss 
species and the ecological role that these species play in ecosystems. 
A prominent bryologist in the western United States commented that one 
of the many ecological roles mosses have in the Pacific Northwest is 
nutrient cycling and that excess moss harvest may lead to loss of soil 
fertility in heavy rainfall forests. U.S. Forest Service field recovery 
studies in the wild indicate that sites which have been commercially 
harvested for moss will not be suitable for reharvest for decades. 
Because population and trade information is still lacking, the United 
States is not planning to submit a proposal at COP12 to list moss 
species in Appendix II. Instead, we have contracted a study on trade in 
U.S. native mosses.
4. Osha and Look-Alike Congeneric Species (Ligusticum Porteri and 
Ligusticum spp.)--Proposal for inclusion in Appendix II
    Osha is a medicinal plant that occurs throughout much of the Rocky 
Mountains from northern Wyoming to Chihuahua, Mexico. Several other 
North American Ligusticum species (L. filicinum, L. canbyi, and L. 
tenuifolium) are similar to L. porteri and may be collected for 
medicinal purposes and marketed as osha. Osha is not currently listed 
under CITES and has not previously been proposed for CITES listing. The 
primary threat to osha appears to be collection for the medicinal 
market. Osha is traded as ground roots, whole roots, tinctures, and 
seeds for use as a remedy for head colds, coughs, influenza, pneumonia, 
and fever. Research indicates that demand for L. porteri is increasing. 
North American Ligusticum species may be replacing Chinese Ligusticum 
species in the marketplace because these taxa are becoming increasingly 
rare due to habitat loss and market pressure. Anecdotal information 
indicates that demand for osha from the United States may be rising 
because of decline in populations in Mexico. Experts from U.S. land 
management agencies indicate that L. porteri has been in decline over 
the last 10 years.
    Osha is one of the seven wild medicinal plants under a moratorium 
on harvest in the State of Montana. In addition, the U.S. Forest 
Service is not permitting collection of osha on their lands because of 
concerns over the sustainability of harvest. The harvest of osha is 
destructive because the whole plant is removed in the process. 
Cultivation of the species is limited at this time. In order to support 
the State of Montana and the U.S. Forest Service moratorium on harvest 
of these species and generate additional trade data, we intend to 
review and consider listing U.S. native Ligusticum species in CITES 
Appendix III. Consequently, the United States does not intend to seek 
Appendix-II listing of this taxon at this time.
5. Coneflowers (Echinacea spp.)--Proposal for Inclusion in Appendix II
    The genus Echinacea, comprising nine species, occurs primarily in 
the Great Plains of the United States and Canada. It has not previously 
been proposed for CITES listing.
    The primary threats to Echinacea species vary. Some are collected 
from the wild for their medicinal properties, some are incidentally 
collected along with the targeted species, and all are experiencing 
habitat loss and degradation due to a wide variety of factors, 
including fire suppression, grazing, use of herbicides, and conversion 
of prairie to pasture. In 1999, Echinacea ranked as the number-one-
selling herb in the United States and eighth in international herb 
sales. Of the nine species in the genus, three (Echinacea angustifolia, 
E. pallida, and E. purpurea) have proven medicinal properties and are 
known to be traded internationally. Four other species (E. atrorubens, 
E. paradoxa, E. sanguinea, and E. simulata) are known to be harvested 
from the wild or suspected to be collected incidentally due to their 
similarity of appearance to targeted Echinacea species where they co-
occur. Two others (E. laevigata and E. tennesseensis) are quite rare, 
protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and unlikely to be 
subject to commercial collection. In particular, E. angustifolia and E. 
pallida, though still locally common in parts of their ranges, are 
known to be declining due to over-collection of roots and seeds from 
the wild. Organized collection efforts, trespassing on private lands, 
and unauthorized collecting on public and tribal lands for the purposes 
of collecting Echinacea roots and seeds have been documented, as has 
the extirpation of entire populations by diggers. Montana and North 
Dakota have passed legislation banning the harvest of E. angustifolia. 
In order to control illegal trade in these species and generate 
additional trade data, we intend to review and consider listing U.S. 
native species of the genus Echinacea in CITES Appendix III. 
Consequently, the United States does not intend to seek Appendix-II 
listing for this taxon at this time.
6. Saw-Toothed Lewisia (Lewisia Serrata)--Proposal for Removal From 
Appendix II
    Saw-toothed lewisia has a very restricted distribution and occurs 
at only ten localities in California. This species was listed in CITES 
Appendix II in 1983. It was proposed for delisting by Switzerland, as 
the Depository Government for CITES, at COP11. The proposal was 
withdrawn as a result of discussions in which the United States agreed 
to further review the species prior to COP12. Lewisia serrata is listed 
as Vulnerable by the IUCN. It is a U.S. Forest Service Sensitive 
Species. The primary threats to L. serrata are mining, timber harvest, 
development, horticultural collecting, and small hydroelectric power 
projects. Most populations of L. serrata occur on National Forest 
System lands. Though

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demand for this species is considered low and confined to alpine plant 
collectors, the U.S. Forest Service Interim Management Guide for this 
species cites poaching by private or commercial collectors as a 
potential threat to its existence. Of the four known occurrences of L. 
serrata on the El Dorado National Forest, one has been extirpated, 
possibly by illegal collection for horticultural use. An observed 80 
percent decline in another population may have been due to poaching. 
International trade is not a significant threat since few applications 
to export this species have been received, and no trade has been 
recorded since it was listed. However, due to reports of illegal 
collection and the potential for individuals to enter international 
trade, the United States does not intend to submit a proposal to remove 
L. serrata from CITES Appendix II at this time.
7. Oconee-bells (Shortia Galacifolia)--Proposal for Removal From 
Appendix II
    Oconee-bells has a restricted distribution in Georgia, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. It is abundant at most of its 
few remaining sites. This species was listed in CITES Appendix II in 
1983. It was proposed for delisting by Switzerland, as the Depository 
Government for CITES, at COP11. The proposal was withdrawn as a result 
of discussions in which the United States agreed to further review the 
species prior to COP12. Shortia galacifolia is listed as Vulnerable by 
the IUCN. It is also a U.S. Forest Service Sensitive Species. Natural 
populations are protected on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service 
and the State of North Carolina. The primary threat to S. galacifolia 
is habitat loss, but populations have been lost in the past due to 
horticultural collection. Illegal collection from U.S. Forest Service 
lands is suspected. There is reportedly a reasonable demand for this 
species within the United States, particularly within its natural 
range. However, there is no international trade in this species, partly 
because the Division of Scientific Authority has been unable to find no 
detriment for export applications on three occasions since 1994. It is 
rarely grown outside its natural range, although it is cultivated in 
Europe to a limited extent. Due to reports of illegal collection and 
the potential for individuals to enter international trade, the United 
States does not intend to submit a proposal to remove S. galacifolia 
from CITES Appendix II at this time.
8. Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis)--Proposal for Removal From 
Appendix II
    Goldenseal is distributed across the eastern United States and into 
Ontario. It has been listed in CITES Appendix II since COP10 (June 
1997). The American Herbal Products Association and American Botanicals 
have proposed that this species be removed from the CITES Appendices. 
The primary threats to goldenseal are habitat loss due to development 
and logging and over-collection from the wild. It is estimated that 
tens of millions of goldenseal individuals are harvested from the wild 
each year for the herbal products industry. However, only a small 
fraction of this total is recorded in international trade. Though it 
has a wide geographic distribution, goldenseal has a relatively narrow 
niche. Specific habitat requirements, poor seed dispersal and 
germination, and a highly clumped distribution pattern make this 
species particularly susceptible to harvest pressures. Goldenseal is 
becoming increasingly rare and many areas report that populations are 
in sharp decline due to over-harvest. Since populations are not 
monitored by most States, there is little direct evidence of current 
population trends beyond one study that documents a dramatic decline in 
populations at a Nature Preserve in Indiana over a 26-year period. 
Poaching has been reported throughout the range, as has the extirpation 
of entire populations by collectors. Six States (Connecticut, Georgia, 
Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Vermont) list goldenseal 
as Endangered. Canada lists it as Threatened. For these reasons, the 
United States does not intend to submit a proposal to remove goldenseal 
from Appendix II unless substantial additional information becomes 
available to indicate that its status in the wild is secure.
9. Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis)--Proposal for Inclusion in 
Appendix II
    Bloodroot has a very broad range and is a frequent component of 
mesic hardwood forests across the eastern United States and 
southeastern Canada. It has not previously been proposed for CITES 
listing. The primary threats to bloodroot are habitat loss and over-
collection. It is used in toothpaste, cough syrup, and cattle feed. It 
is also sold as nursery stock. Most bloodroot is harvested from the 
wild in the eastern United States. It is cultivated only on a very 
limited scale. Bloodroot is consumed domestically as well as traded 
abroad, primarily to Europe. Estimates of the total amount of bloodroot 
harvested each year span several orders of magnitude, but may include 
several tens of thousands of pounds of dried rhizomes per year for the 
medicinals market. The amount harvested for cattle feed is unknown, but 
potentially significantly greater. Some sources indicate that bloodroot 
exports are ten times larger than the amount consumed within the United 
States. Other threats to bloodroot include displacement by exotic 
species, cattle grazing, surface mining, and the introduction of non-
native genotypes from other regions by those attempting to establish it 
in cultivation. Bloodroot is suspected to be stable in parts of its 
range, though declining locally in many areas. It is rare in Indiana, 
Louisiana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, 
Virginia, and Manitoba; extirpated from Washington, DC; and 
``exploitably vulnerable'' in New York. Due to the lack of clear 
evidence that this species is sustaining a general decline in the wild, 
the United States does not intend to submit a proposal to list it in 
CITES Appendix II at this time.
10. Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa [Actaea racemosa]) and Look-Alike 
Congeneric Species (Cimicifuga spp.)--Proposal for Inclusion in 
Appendix II
    Black cohosh has a very broad range in eastern North America and is 
frequently encountered in a wide variety of wooded habitats across its 
range. It has not previously been proposed for CITES listing. The 
primary threats to black cohosh are habitat loss and over-collection. 
It is in great demand for its medicinal properties. Already popular in 
Europe and Australia, where most of the harvest is shipped, black 
cohosh has recently experienced a dramatic increase in consumption, 
especially in the United States. Some raw material is exported from the 
United States to Europe, where it is processed for re-export back to 
the United States. Indicators show long-term growth in demand for black 
cohosh despite recent wholesale price fluctuations. Most black cohosh 
is harvested from the wild in the eastern United States. It is 
cultivated only on a very limited scale. Average annual harvest from 
the wild is estimated to impact tens of millions of individuals per 
year. Black cohosh is rare in Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and 
Ontario, and extirpated in Iowa, but reportedly abundant in other 
portions of its range. However, many experts state with certainty that 
unsustainable harvest is occurring and that populations are declining, 
especially on public lands. Unauthorized collection on National Forests 
is reported to be

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extensive, and incidents of poaching from National Parks have been 
documented in recent years. Though it is unlikely that they are 
targeted for collection from the wild, mountain bugbane (C. americana 
[=Actaea podocarpa]) and Appalachian bugbane (C. [=Actaea] rubifolia) 
are suspected to be incidentally collected along with black cohosh 
where they co-occur. There are also three other species of Cimicifuga 
found in the western United States and Canada that are likely to be 
indistinguishable in trade from C. racemosa. In order to control 
illegal trade in these species and generate additional trade data, we 
intend to review and consider listing U.S. native species of the genus 
Cimicifuga in CITES Appendix III. Consequently, the United States does 
not intend to seek Appendix-II listing for this taxon at this time.
11. Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)--Proposal for Inclusion in 
Appendix II
    Blue cohosh has a very broad range across the eastern United States 
and Canada and is frequently encountered in a wide variety of wooded 
habitats. It has not previously been proposed for CITES listing. The 
primary threats to blue cohosh are habitat destruction and over-
collection. It is harvested from the wild for its medicinal value and 
for sale as nursery stock. An estimated 10,000-25,000 pounds (dry) were 
traded in 2000, all of which were wild collected. The U.S. market for 
blue cohosh is relatively small. The species is also traded overseas, 
especially to Europe, though the amount of material exported is 
unknown. The number of blue cohosh plants per population is highly 
variable and can range from only a few stems to thousands of 
individuals. In certain areas it is considered at risk from collection 
pressure, but some reports indicate that it is stable in portions of 
its range. It is rare in Arkansas, Kansas, North Dakota, Nebraska, 
Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia. 
Insufficient biological and trade data exist to indicate that blue 
cohosh qualifies for Appendix II of CITES at this time. For these 
reasons, the United States does not intend to submit a proposal to list 
blue cohosh in Appendix II unless substantial additional information is 
12. Yellow Yam (Dioscorea villosa)--Proposal for Inclusion in Appendix 
    The taxonomy of Dioscorea villosa is inadequately understood. It is 
unclear whether this species is restricted to the coastal plain or has 
a much broader distribution throughout the eastern United States. It 
has not previously been proposed for CITES listing. The primary threats 
to D. villosa are habitat loss and commercial over-exploitation. It is 
of considerable collecting interest for the herbal products trade. 
However, due to taxonomic confusion, which species of Dioscorea are 
affected by the market is often unclear. Approximately 60,000 pounds 
(dry) of D. villosa are estimated to have been collected from the wild 
each year for the past three years, up from an estimated 20,000-25,000 
pounds (dry) per year in the early 1990s. This species may be declining 
in the wild, but assessment is difficult given taxonomic uncertainties. 
In addition, insufficient trade data exist to indicate that D. villosa 
qualifies for Appendix II of CITES at this time. For these reasons, the 
United States does not intend to submit a proposal to list this species 
in Appendix II unless substantial additional information becomes 
13. Sundews Native to the United States (Drosera spp.)--Proposal for 
Inclusion in Appendix II
    The nine species of sundews native to the United States are Drosera 
anglica, D. brevifolia, D. capensis, D. capillaris, D. filiformis, D. 
intermedia, D. linearis, D. rotundifolia, and D. tracyi. Sundews have 
not previously been proposed for CITES listing. Sundews generally grow 
in acidic soils and hydrologically sensitive areas. Therefore, they are 
infrequent in their distribution, though some are quite wide ranging 
and others are locally common where they are found. Drosera brevifolia 
and D. capillaris are listed as Rare by the IUCN. The primary threats 
to sundews are habitat loss and over-collection for their ornamental 
and medicinal values. Many U.S. States and Canadian provinces provide 
special protection for various species of Drosera. In particular, the 
State of Montana and U.S. Forest Service Regions 1 and 4 have 
established a temporary moratorium on the harvest of wild Drosera spp. 
from their lands. Drosera anglica, D. intermedia, and D. linearis are 
U.S. Forest Service Sensitive Species. However, D. linearis is the only 
sundew native to the United States known to be declining in status. The 
primary cause of the decline is habitat degradation. There are also no 
data to indicate that sundews harvested from the wild are entering 
international trade. For these reasons, the United States does not 
intend to submit a proposal to list this taxon in CITES Appendix II 
unless we receive substantial additional information indicating that 
international trade is a factor threatening these species.
14. Ill-Scented Trillium (Trillium erectum)--Proposal for Inclusion in 
Appendix II
    Ill-scented trillium occurs in eastern Canada and the eastern 
United States at mid to high elevations in moist woods and on wooded 
slopes. It is relatively common throughout the central portion of its 
range where suitable habitat is available. It has not previously been 
proposed for CITES listing. The primary threats to T. erectum are 
habitat loss, over-collection, and browsing by deer. This species is 
collected for ornamental and medicinal uses, sometimes intensively. 
Collection pressure may be exacerbated by the fact that it is slow to 
mature and primarily reproduces by seed. An estimated 37,500 to 75,000 
plants are harvested for the United States and European herbal products 
markets every year. Wild-collected Trillium rhizomes are also sold 
domestically and exported to Japan, the Netherlands, and the United 
Kingdom as ornamentals. International demand for T. erectum may be on 
the order of several thousand plants per year. Some experts suspect 
that this species is over-collected and becoming scarce in some parts 
of its range. However, others say T. erectum is relatively stable. It 
is common in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, 
and parts of Michigan, but rare in Delaware, Rhode Island, Manitoba, 
and Nova Scotia; Endangered in Illinois; and ``exploitably vulnerable'' 
in New York. Habitat destruction is likely the greatest threat to this 
species. For these reasons, the United States does not intend to submit 
a proposal to list this species in CITES Appendix II unless we receive 
substantial additional information indicating a decline in its 
biological status.
15. Cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa and U. guianensis)--Proposal for 
Inclusion in Appendix II
    Cat's claw is a vine native to much of tropical Central and South 
America. It has not previously been proposed for CITES listing. The 
primary threat to cat's claw appears to be a sudden increase in 
potentially unsustainable collection to meet the demand for the plants' 
medicinal properties. Despite wide distribution, most of the commercial 
supply of cat's claw comes from Peru. In 1995, Peru exported over 700 
tons of dried bark. As of 1999, cat's claw was in demand in more than 
30 countries outside Peru, with the United States being the largest 
importer. The inner bark of cat's claw is reputed to

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have therapeutic properties that hold promise for the treatment of 
numerous conditions such as arthritis, cancers, tumors, and viral 
infections, including AIDS. Cat's claw has been and still is being 
harvested mainly from natural stands in high-elevation natural forest. 
The plant is usually cut at the base and the vine is pulled down from 
the canopy. Frequently, collectors cut down the tree that supports the 
cat's claw vine. Forestry officials and conservationists in Peru are 
encouraging people to propagate cat's claw. The Peruvian Government 
issued a Presidential Decree in 1999 that prohibits the export of un-
processed or mechanically processed cat's claw unless it is obtained 
from managed natural stocks or plantations. Studies aimed at producing 
cat's claw in vitro are on going. Little biological or trade 
information about cat's claw from other Central and South America 
countries is available. While we will continue to collect information 
and monitor this species, the United States does not intend to submit a 
proposal to include it in CITES Appendix II at COP12.
16. Cascara Sagrada (Frangula purshiana [=Rhamnus purshiana])--Proposal 
for Inclusion in Appendix II
    Cascara sagrada is a shade-tolerant understory tree species of 
Pacific Coast forests of the United States and Canada. It has not 
previously been proposed for CITES listing. The primary threat to this 
species is over-exploitation of the bark for its medicinal properties, 
which is used as a laxative and in sunscreen preparations. Cascara 
sagrada has long been subjected to intensive exploitation in 
considerable portions of its range, especially southern British 
Columbia, western Washington and Oregon, and northern California. Since 
its peak in the 1960s, the demand for cascara bark has diminished due 
to the development of alternative drugs and methods of synthesizing the 
active ingredient found in the bark. In addition, it has been 
established in plantations, though possibly only to a limited extent. 
Cascara sagrada has since recovered through much of its natural range, 
even to the point that special legal protection for it in Canada was 
repealed. However, it may be experiencing a resurgence in demand in the 
United States as a result of growing interest in ``natural'' remedies 
and an FDA ban on certain active ingredients in laxatives.
    Cascara sagrada has ranked among the top-selling herbal supplements 
in the United States in recent years. In addition, demand for it in 
Europe is significant, and may be substantially larger than domestic 
demand. Estimates of the average harvest of cascara sagrada bark range 
from several hundred thousand to a few million pounds (dry) each year, 
mostly from the wild. Methods of sustainably harvesting the bark are 
known, but not always used. Some experts indicate that this species is 
declining in the wild; that many populations are harvested repeatedly, 
to the extent that they no longer function naturally in their 
environment; and that older trees cut for bark are becoming uncommon. 
Incidents of illegal collection have been documented in recent years. 
The intensity of collecting, and therefore the degree of threat to the 
species in major portions of its range, is speculative and requires 
additional documentation. The United States is not planning to submit a 
proposal to list cascara sagrada in CITES Appendix II, unless we 
receive additional information suggesting we should take other action.
17. Bigleaf Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla)--Proposal for Inclusion in 
Appendix II
    Bigleaf mahogany ranges from Mexico to Brazil and Bolivia. 
Defenders of Wildlife has requested that the United States propose this 
species for inclusion in Appendix II. Proposals to include this species 
in Appendix II were submitted at COP8 (March 1992) by Costa Rica and 
the United States, at COP9 (November 1994) by the Netherlands, and at 
COP10 (June 1997) by Bolivia and the United States. At COP8, the 
proposal was withdrawn. At COP9, the proposal submitted gained 60 
percent of the vote, short of the two-thirds majority needed for 
adoption. The COP10 proposal also received the majority of the votes, 
but did not obtain the required two-thirds majority. The primary threat 
to S. macrophylla is commercial over-exploitation. Approximately 
120,000 cubic meters of bigleaf mahogany are traded internationally 
each year, not including illegal and unreported trade, which are likely 
to be substantial. The United States is by far the largest importer of 
the species. Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru are the largest exporters. 
Mahogany is a very long-lived species, with generation times 
approaching centuries. Regeneration is random, occurring in extensively 
cleared areas after large-scale disaster. Therefore, it generally 
occurs in even-aged stands, and modern logging practices commonly lead 
to the complete removal of stands over a large area, leaving few 
smaller individuals and an insubstantial seed source for future 
regeneration. Regeneration after selective felling is often poor or 
non-existent because seeds need a large canopy opening to germinate. 
Harvesting and processing are very inefficient.
    Bigleaf mahogany populations have been depleted in major portions 
of its range, especially from Mexico to Colombia. The most extensive 
stands remain in Brazil, which recently imposed a temporary moratorium 
on the harvest and export of the species. The species is listed as 
Vulnerable by WCMC and the IUCN World List of Threatened Trees. Bigleaf 
mahogany (from the Americas) was listed in Appendix III by Costa Rica 
in November 1995. The listing included saw-logs, sawn wood, and veneer 
sheets (i.e., other derivatives such as furniture are exempt from CITES 
requirements). Bolivia (March 1998), Brazil (July 1998), Mexico (April 
1999), Peru (June 2001), and Colombia (October 2001) subsequently have 
taken the same action. An Appendix-III listing requires that countries 
that list the species issue permits and ensure that specimens are 
legally acquired. Non-listing range countries must issue certificates 
of origin, and importing countries are required to ensure that all 
shipments are accompanied by the appropriate CITES documents.
    The United States is unlikely to submit a proposal at COP12 to list 
bigleaf mahogany in CITES Appendix II. We are encouraged by recent 
efforts by Brazil to control illegal trade in this species and by the 
continuing increase in the number of countries listing this species in 
Appendix III, although we remain concerned about continuing reports of 
illegal and unsustainable trade in the species. We will continue to be 
active in efforts to improve the control of trade in S. macrophylla and 
monitor progress in the event that further action is needed in the 
18. Port-Orford-Cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana)--Proposal for 
Inclusion in the CITES Appendices
    The Port-Orford-cedar is restricted to a small geographic area of 
220 miles, from the southwest corner of Oregon to the northwest corner 
of California. The majority of the species' range is managed by the 
U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. We received one 
comment from TRAFFIC North America requesting that ``the United States 
consider concrete measures to control harvest and/or exports of Port-
Orford-cedar by examining the conservation merits of a CITES listing 
for this species.'' The United States considered an Appendix-II listing 
proposal for the Port-Orford-cedar for COP9, but our review at that 
time concluded that existing State and

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Federal control mechanisms were sufficient to prevent over-collection 
of the species. Nearly all harvested Port-Orford-cedar is exported at a 
premium price to Japan as a substitute for the rare Japanese hinoki (C. 
obtusa) wood.
    A 1998 report, compiled by WCMC for the CITES Management Authority 
of the Netherlands, evaluated the Port-Orford-cedar as meeting the 
CITES listing criteria for Appendix I. However, most of the decline in 
Port-Orford-cedar was due to the fact that the species is extremely 
susceptible to an introduced root rot disease that has spread 
throughout the species' range. There is currently no known cure for 
trees infected with the root rot; infected trees are harvested for 
commercial sale. In 1994, The Nature Conservancy classified Port-
Orford-cedar plant communities as G2 (globally imperiled). The U.S. 
Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management recently completed a 
comprehensive range-wide assessment of Port-Orford-cedar indicating 
that the species is stable. Therefore, in the absence of proof of 
trade-based threats posed to the species, the United States does not 
currently intend to submit a proposal to list C. lawsoniana in either 
CITES Appendix I or II.
19. Lloyd's Mariposa Cactus (Sclerocactus mariposensis)--Proposal for 
Transfer From Appendix I to Appendix II
    Sclerocactus mariposensis is a small cactus found in the Chihuahua 
Desert region of northern Mexico and southwest Texas. This species has 
a very restricted distribution, known from about 30 sites. The species 
was listed in Appendix II on July 1, 1975, and later uplisted to 
Appendix I on July 29, 1983. At COP11, Switzerland, on behalf of the 
Plants Committee, proposed to downlist the species from Appendix I to 
II. The proposal was rejected with a vote of 47 to 35. Sclerocactus 
mariposensis is listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species 
Act and as endangered under Mexican domestic regulation. Collecting 
from the wild has had the largest impact on S. mariposensis and remains 
its greatest threat. Mining and drilling activities, off-road vehicles, 
and grazing also threaten the species within the United States. Records 
indicate that export of seeds and plants from the United States has 
been limited to artificially propagated specimens. However, artificial 
propagation of the species is reported to be difficult. Therefore, 
transfer of S. mariposensis to Appendix II could shift trade from 
artificially propagated specimens to wild specimens, as trade in seeds 
is usually not regulated under CITES Appendix II. The impact on U.S. 
populations could be particularly great because trade in cacti seeds of 
Appendix-II Mexican species originating in Mexico is regulated under 
the Convention, but trade in seeds of the same species originating in 
the United States is not. For these reasons the United States does not 
intend to submit a proposal to transfer the species from Appendix I to 
20. Siler's Fish-Hook Cactus (Sclerocactus sileri)--Proposal for 
Transfer From Appendix II to 
Appendix I
    It appears from our review of the literature that Sclerocactus 
sileri is a synonym for Pediocactus sileri, which is listed as 
Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. It was listed in 
Appendix II on July 1, 1975, and later uplisted to Appendix I on July 
29, 1983. Inconsistencies exist in descriptions of the range of this 
species. We will continue to investigate to determine whether these two 
names refer to the same species. At this time, the United States does 
not intend to submit a proposal to transfer the species from Appendix 
II to I.
21. Small-flower fish-hook cactus (Sclerocactus parviflorus)--Proposal 
for Transfer From Appendix II to 
Appendix I
    Sclerocactus parviflorus is a small U.S. endemic cactus species 
occurring in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. It was 
listed in Appendix II on July 1, 1975. Very little information is 
available about the status of this species. Arizona protects the 
species because it is subject to damage by theft or vandalism. It is 
considered a rare plant in New Mexico, under the name S. cloveriae. 
Information provided by New Mexico indicates that, although collection 
of the species occurs, it is presently at a rate that does not threaten 
the species. Seeds of S. parviflorus are available on the Internet from 
Websites located in Germany and Malta, indicating international demand 
for the species exists and international trade occurs. Because so 
little information about the status of the species is available at this 
time, the United States does not intend to submit a proposal for 
transfer to Appendix I. However, we will continue to study this species 
to determine if a change in listing is needed.
22. All Appendix-II Plants--Proposal To Remove the Exemption of all 
Seeds, Pollinia, and Fruits, Except Those From Artificially Propagated 
    The Minnesota Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program 
suggested that we should submit a proposal to remove the exemption for 
seeds, pollinia, and fruits of Appendix-II species except for such 
specimens derived from artificially propagated plants. The Minnesota 
Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program made this suggestion 
because, it stated, ``the removal of reproductive parts is tantamount 
to removal of plants and should be subject to the same restrictions.'' 
The CITES Parties have agreed to exempt seeds and other parts of 
Appendix-II plants because, generally, trade in seeds is not a threat 
to the survival of species, since often many more seeds are produced 
than actually survive to adulthood. Furthermore, Appendix-II plants are 
those considered to be sufficiently abundant and secure to allow some 
level of removal from the wild, even as adult plants. In the case of 
perennial plants, the removal of some seeds is not considered to be a 
threat to the survival of the species because the plants are likely to 
produce additional seeds in the future, and some plants reproduce 
vegetatively at greater rates than through seed. While we realize that 
all seed is not expendable, and some species produce seed at very low 
rates, a broad change to include all seed and other reproductive parts 
of Appendix-II species is not warranted. It is worth noting that the 
CITES Parties adopted a proposal by Mexico to include seeds in the 
listing of that country's Appendix-II cactus species, but this has 
presented implementation problems that have prompted the CITES Plants 
Committee to pressure Mexico to delist these seeds. If a species is so 
rare or has specific life-history characteristics that would warrant 
the inclusion of seeds in a listing, the species should be considered 
for listing in Appendix I. However, the United States does not intend 
to go forward with a proposal to include seeds, pollinia, and fruits in 
the listings of all Appendix-II plants.
23. Eastern Hemisphere tarantulas (Poecilotheria spp.)--Proposal for 
Inclusion in Appendix II
    The 11 known species of Eastern Hemisphere tarantulas 
(Poecilotheria) occur only in the forests of southern India and Sri 
Lanka. They are threatened by habitat loss and collection for the 
commercial hobbyist trade. None

[[Page 19227]]

of the species are currently listed under CITES. At COP11, the United 
States co-sponsored a proposal with India and Sri Lanka to list all of 
the Eastern Hemisphere tarantulas in Appendix II. Although the proposal 
received a simple majority of votes, it did not receive the two-thirds 
majority necessary for adoption. Since COP11, the United States has 
remained active in efforts to conserve these Eastern Hemisphere 
tarantula species. We have urged both India and Sri Lanka to list 
Poecilotheria spp. in CITES Appendix III. Although this has not yet 
happened, India recently included the Eastern Hemisphere tarantulas in 
its schedule of protected species under the Indian Wildlife Protection 
Law (the tarantulas are already protected by Sri Lankan law). The 
United States sponsored workshops in India and Sri Lanka to train local 
conservationists in methods for identifying and conducting field 
population surveys of tarantulas. We expect that this training will 
lead to the initiation of long-term monitoring programs for the 
species. We are also active in efforts to stop illegal collecting of 
tarantulas by foreign hobbyists and commercial collectors. Given these 
ongoing conservation efforts, the United States is unlikely to submit a 
listing proposal for Eastern Hemisphere tarantulas at COP12. However, 
we are aware that the two range countries, India and Sri Lanka, may 
have interest in submitting a proposal, and we have offered our 
assistance to them in the preparation of such a proposal.
24. Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)--Proposal for Inclusion in Appendix 
    The whale shark is the largest fish and is a sluggish pelagic 
filter feeder often seen swimming on the surface. It occurs in tropical 
and sub-tropical waters worldwide. The United States unsuccessfully 
proposed the species for inclusion in Appendix II at COP11. The primary 
threat to the species is directed commercial harvest, exacerbated by a 
vulnerable life history. Harvest is facilitated by seasonal 
aggregations in known areas and driven by a lucrative international 
market for fins and meat. The whale shark has recently been targeted 
for its fins, meat, and liver in several places in Asia, including 
India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, and 
the Maldives. Population size is unknown, but the species is considered 
to be rare. Local seasonal populations have apparently declined 
drastically in some places, while fishing effort and price have 
increased. It is not known to what degree fishing in one area affects 
populations in other areas, although the fact that at least some of the 

sharks migrate long distances within ocean basins suggests that the 
effects may not be purely local.
    Whale sharks are currently protected in Australia, the Maldives, 
Honduras, Malaysia, the U.S. Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico, India, 
South Africa, and the Phillippines, leaving Taiwan as the only 
jurisdiction with a significant commercial fishery. Illegal trade may 
be growing and compromises the domestic protection mentioned above. 
Nonetheless, we are concerned that only limited data are available on 
trade volumes and the impact of remaining fisheries. Therefore, the 
United States is reluctant to submit a listing proposal at this time. 
However, we are still interested in determining ways of obtaining 
information on current levels of international trade (beyond the 
valuation data above), range country initiatives for CITES listings, 
and development of identification manuals.
25. Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus)--Proposal for Inclusion in 
Appendix II
    The Defenders of Wildlife and the Humane Society International 
recommended that the United States consider a proposal for listing the 
basking shark in CITES Appendix II. The basking shark is widely 
distributed in coastal waters and on the continental shelves of 
temperate zones in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The United 
Kingdom proposed the species for listing in Appendix II at COP11, with 
the full support of the United States, but was unsuccessful. The 
species is planktivorous, bears a small number of live young 
(ovoviviparous), and is the second largest fish in the world (up to 10 
meters in length and 5-7 tons in weight), exceeded only by the whale 
shark. The main threat to basking shark populations is from fishing 
operations, both targeted on basking sharks and incidental or by-catch 
in other fisheries. However, because these fish congregate in bays and 
shallow water, they are also at risk from collisions with vessels. The 
biology of the species makes it especially vulnerable to exploitation: 
it has a slow growth rate, a long time to sexual maturity (ca. 12-20 
years), a long gestation period (1-3 years) and a similar interval 
between pregnancies, low fecundity (the only recorded litter was of 
just six very large pups), and probable small populations. Its habit of 
``basking'' at the surface makes it vulnerable to harpoon fisheries. 
There are a few well-documented fisheries for C. maximus (especially 
from the Northeastern Atlantic) and these suggest stock reductions of 
50-90 percent over short periods (typically a few decades or less). 
These declines have persisted into the long-term with no apparent 
recovery several decades after exploitation has ceased. Other data, 
based on sightings and less well-recorded fisheries, suggest similar 
    Demand for the fins of C. maximus has increased in recent years. 
Fins are known to enter international trade, particularly exported from 
the Northeastern Atlantic to Eastern Asia, where they command a high 
value, either fresh or dried, as a food item. This demand currently 
maintains the viability of targeted fisheries for this species and 
encourages incidental take in non-target fisheries. A single C. maximus 
can yield over 90 kilograms of fins, and reported prices range from 
100-300 U.S. dollars per kilogram (dried) and 26 U.S. dollars per 
kilogram (fresh). Fins, if unprocessed, are identifiable in trade. 
There is only limited demand for the flesh and cartilage of this shark. 
The species is given domestic protection over a limited part of its 
range, and the United Kingdom placed C. maximus fins and whole animals 
in Appendix III in September 2000. The United States is evaluating the 
benefits of listing basking shark in Appendix II of CITES.
    Given the favorable discussions and votes at COP11, the United 
Kingdom may re-submit an Appendix-II listing proposal for basking 
sharks at COP12. Therefore, the United States does not intend to 
develop a proposal at this time, but will rather consult with the 
United Kingdom and the European Union as it prepares for COP12. The 
United States may support any such Appendix-II proposal for basking 
shark, or may reconsider its plans if no proposal is forthcoming. We 
would appreciate any information that you might provide on the current 
status, conservation threats, and international trade in basking shark.
26. White shark (Carcharodon carcharias)--Proposal for Inclusion in 
Appendix I
    The Defenders of Wildlife and the Humane Society International 
suggested that the United States consider listing the white shark in 
CITES Appendix I or II. Australia and the United States unsuccessfully 
proposed the white shark for inclusion in CITES Appendix II at COP11. 
Subsequently, Australia listed the species in Appendix III, effective 
October 2001. Existing data suggest that white sharks are uncommon and 
occur singly as scattered,

[[Page 19228]]

unassociated individuals and occasionally as pairs. The white shark has 
always been uncommon to scarce throughout its range excepting certain 
areas usually frequented by pinniped colonies where it may be 
seasonally common in its search for food. Evidence of population 
declines exist from commercial and recreational fishery data in the 
northwest Atlantic, beach meshing, game fishing, and sightings data in 
Australia, and beach meshing in South Africa. However, it is impossible 
to prove worldwide decline in the white shark since it is widespread, 
and data have historically been meager. Precautionary management 
measures have recently banned possession and landing of white sharks in 
several areas (California, U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico, 
Australia, South Africa, Malta, Namibia, and the Maldives).
    The primary threats to white sharks include by-catch in longline 
and gillnet fisheries, trophy hunting, and demand for jaws and teeth as 
curios. We believe that international trade in white shark products 
represents a negligible threat to the species, especially when compared 
to by-catch losses and other incidental mortality in commercial 
fisheries. Therefore, the United States does not support a CITES 
Appendix-I listing for white sharks at this time. However, we could 
consider supporting or co-sponsoring another country's proposal for an 
Appendix-II listing to improve the collection of trade data and 
encourage regional management if the situation arises, and especially 
if the proposal contained additional trade information to support a 
27. Southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii)--Proposal for Inclusion in 
Appendix II
    The Humane Society International recommended that the United States 
propose the Southern bluefin tuna for listing in CITES Appendix II. The 
Southern bluefin tuna inhabits portions of the Pacific, Atlantic, and 
Indian Oceans in the Southern Hemisphere. The only known spawning 
ground is located south of Java, Indonesia, and northwest of Australia. 
Juveniles then migrate along the west coast of Australia, inhabiting 
coastal waters of southwest, south, and southeast Australia. As fish 
reach maturity, they extend their ranges to the circumpolar regions. 
The predominant threat to the species is commercial fishing. The high 
commercial value of the species makes it extremely attractive to 
targeted fishing, even when stocks are depleted. The global catch of 
Southern bluefin tuna has declined from about 80,000 tons in the late 
1950's to less than 20,000 tons. Data from Australia, New Zealand, and 
Japan suggest that the spawning stock biomass is now only 25-47 percent 
of that in 1980 and 37-58 percent of that in 1986. Since the mid-1990s, 
stock biomass has been roughly stable with possible slight increases or 
decreases. There is a risk of further stock declines if current fishing 
levels are maintained.
    International management of the fishery is under the Convention for 
the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna to which Australia, Japan, 
New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea are Parties. This Convention 
establishes (since 1994) the Commission for the Conservation of 
Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT), which sets the global Total Allowable 
Catch (TAC) and national allocations for its member countries. It 
provides an internationally recognized forum for other countries/
entities to actively participate in issues relating to management of 
the species. The CCSBT is actively pursuing efforts to encourage 
accession to the Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin 
Tuna by other countries involved in the fishery so that the global 
fishery can be managed sustainably. The CCSBT has also instituted a 
Catch Certification Scheme to obtain more accurate information on 
international trade. Given the regional nature of the fishery, the 
growing cooperation between harvesting nations, and the recent 
institution of a Trade Certification Scheme, the United States does not 
believe an Appendix-II listing is warranted for Southern bluefin tuna 
at this time.
28. Spiny Dogfish (Squalus Acanthias, Northwest Atlantic Stock Only)--
Proposal for Inclusion in Appendix II
    The Humane Society of the United States recommended that the United 
States consider proposing the spiny dogfish for listing in CITES 
Appendix II at COP12. The spiny dogfish has a circumglobal distribution 
and is found in the temperate portions of the Atlantic and Pacific 
Oceans. This species has not previously been proposed for CITES 
listing. According to the most recent scientific assessment, spiny 
dogfish in the Northwest Atlantic are over-fished. Although total stock 
biomass is currently at a high level, harvest levels and exploitation 
rates of the late 1990s cannot be sustained. Spawning stock biomass 
declined by 50 percent during the 1990s. Recent harvest rates exceed 
the replacement level for the stock and recruitment has declined. Under 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act, a Fishery Management Plan (FMP) has been 
developed for spiny dogfish. The FMP contains a number of measures to 
reduce harvest, eliminate the directed fishery for spiny dogfish, and 
thus curtail international trade. Through quota reductions and ``trip 
limits'' imposed on each vessel, total catch has been reduced from 
roughly 30 million pounds in 1999 to less than 4 million pounds in 
2001. Further quota reductions are expected in the near future, and 
severe limitations on poundage that can be landed per trip (currently 
500 pounds per vessel) essentially eliminate the high-volume fishery 
that drove international trade in the 1990s. High-volume trade is 
necessary to maintain international markets because of the high cost of 
fishing operations and low wholesale value of the product 
(approximately 15 cents per pound). Fisheries for spiny dogfish are 
prosecuted by several countries in the North Atlantic and North 
Pacific, and we believe it would be difficult or impossible to 
differentiate Northwest Atlantic S. acanthias specimens from other S. 
acanthias stocks in trade. Furthermore, the United States believes that 
rebuilding of this stock can be accomplished under the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act and, therefore, does not intend to propose this species for listing 
in CITES Appendix II. We will monitor stock recovery under the Federal 
FMP (and complementary actions taken in State waters by the Atlantic 
States Marine Fisheries Commission), and could reconsider listing 
action before the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties 
to CITES (COP13), if the situation warrants it.
29. Orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus)--Proposal for inclusion in 
Appendix II
    The Humane Society International recommended that the United States 
propose listing orange roughy in CITES Appendix II. Orange roughy is 
widely distributed in deep water (about 300-1500+ meters) at temperate 
latitudes in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. It has not 
previously been proposed for CITES listing. While it is believed to be 
only a single species, numerous spawning aggregations have been 
identified, some of which represent genetically distinct populations. 
The primary threat to this species is over-exploitation by fisheries. 
Orange roughy have extremely low productivity relative to most other 
marine teleosts. Studies have suggested an age of maturity of 20-30 
years and a maximum age of 100-200 years. Fecundity is also low by 
comparison with other marine teleosts. These characteristics make the 
species vulnerable to over-exploitation

[[Page 19229]]

and slow to recover or rebuild from over-fishing. Hoplostethus 
atlanticus is exploited and traded internationally by three primary 
countries: New Zealand, Australia, and Namibia. Due to its low 
productivity, orange roughy can be fished down rapidly, and several 
populations in the waters of these three countries have been reduced to 
only a small fraction of their unexploited stock size. In all three of 
the primary capture countries, by far the majority of the landings are 
exported, with relatively smaller amounts entering into domestic trade.
    Major export markets include the United States, Europe, and Japan. 
However, most of the major orange roughy populations are managed under 
national fishery management plans in these countries, and quotas and 
catches are gradually being reduced towards sustainable levels. All 
three of the primary harvesting countries have rigorous monitoring and 
surveillance systems in place for this species, and therefore illegal 
trade is likely to be negligible. Given the management steps being 
taken by the principal harvesting nations, ongoing monitoring programs, 
and negligible illegal trade, the United States is not prepared to 
submit an Appendix-II listing proposal for this species at this time.
30. Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides)--Proposal for 
inclusion in Appendix II
    The Patagonian toothfish, a species of the Family Nototheniidae, is 
the largest finfish inhabiting the Southern Ocean with any economic 
importance. The Humane Society International and TRAFFIC North America 
recommended that the United States propose Patagonian toothfish for 
listing in Appendix II of CITES, and TRAFFIC International provided a 
recent report on the toothfish's conservation status for our review. 
This species has been fished commercially for about 20 years, and 
management of the species is under the competence of the Commission for 
the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
    The total reported catch of toothfish within the CCAMLR Convention 
Area for the 2000/01 split-year was 12,645 tonnes. The reported catch 
of toothfish from outside the CCAMLR Convention Area was 30,152 tonnes 
for the 2000/01 split-year. However, surveys in the area have never 
found fishing concentrations and commercial-scale aggregations of 
Patagonian toothfish at levels that would support these catch reports. 
In addition, oceanographic conditions (sub-Antarctic and tropical 
hydrological fronts) present a barrier to a northern distribution of 
toothfish into the area. Some of the catch taken outside the CCAMLR 
Convention Area is legal catch from regulated fisheries in the 
Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) off South America. The remainder of 
this catch, in all likelihood, is fish poached from the CCAMLR 
Convention Area by vessels not licensed to fish there, and 
misattributed to unregulated high seas fisheries outside the Convention 
Area. The estimated unreported and illegally fished catch of Patagonian 
toothfish during the 2000/01 split-year was 7,599 tonnes. Therefore, it 
is estimated that 50,396 tonnes of toothfish were harvested (both 
legally and illegally, accurately reported and misreported) during the 
2000/01 split-year.
    There are several characteristics of the life history of D. 
eleginoides that make the species vulnerable to over-exploitation. The 
production of large yolky eggs implies that fecundity of Patagonian 
toothfish is comparatively low. In addition, D. eleginoides matures at 
a relatively late age, with age at first spawning from 8-10 years of 
age. The species is relatively slow growing and long-lived, likely 
surviving to a minimum of 40-50 years old.
    CCAMLR adopted a conservation measure to track and monitor trade in 
Dissostichus spp. (Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish), known as the 
Catch Documentation Scheme (CDS), which became effective in May 2000. 
Following its adoption, CCAMLR formed an Informal CDS Working Group. 
The Group met prior to the 2000 and 2001 meetings of CCAMLR, and 
CCAMLR, at its 2001 meeting, directed that it continue meeting for 2 to 
3 years. Based upon the experience of CCAMLR Members in implementing 
the CDS, the Working Group recommended (and CCAMLR has adopted) 
amendments to strengthen the CDS and modifications to the Dissostichus 
Catch Document (DCD) used in tracking toothfish trade and the Guide to 
completing the DCD.
    The United States announced plans to hold a workshop in 2002 to 
consider elements of an electronic paperless Web-based CDS. The United 
States, a major importer of toothfish, plans to propose a pre-approval 
process for domestic implementation of the CDS in 2002. Electronic 
processing and pre-approval should make it increasingly difficult to 
market illegally caught toothfish. CCAMLR created a CDS Fund in 2001, 
which will be used to fund special needs and special projects of the 
CCAMLR Secretariat aimed at assisting the development and improving the 
effectiveness of the CDS.
    CCAMLR also adopted a resolution urging States participating in the 
CDS to consider reviewing their domestic laws and regulations, with a 
view to prohibiting landings and trans-shipments of toothfish declared 
in a DCD as having been caught in FAO Statistical Area 51, if a Flag 
State fails to demonstrate that it verified the DCD using automated 
satellite-linked Vessel Monitoring System data. Area 51 is outside the 
CCAMLR Convention Area and appears to be a cover on DCDs for toothfish 
illegally harvested within the Convention Area.
    Given the recent adoption of the CDS, its initial success in 
limiting trade in illegally caught toothfish, and continuing 
improvements to the CDS, the United States does not believe that an 
Appendix-II listing for toothfish is warranted at this time. However, 
we are interested in re-examining the toothfish trade after we have had 
more time to evaluate the effectiveness of the CDS, and the ability of 
CCAMLR to track and monitor the trade in countries which have chosen 
not to issue DCDs. The United States will continue to assess the level 
of Illegal Unreported or Unregulated (IUU) fishing and the progress in 
voluntary implementation of the CDS by non-CCAMLR parties in making 
decisions prior to COP13. The United States is also considering how 
fisheries trade tracking and monitoring schemes like the CDS might work 
in conjunction with a CITES listing to obligate trading partners who 
are not otherwise covered by, or choose not to become a part of, such 
31. Beluga sturgeon (Huso huso)--Proposal for Transfer From Appendix II 
to Appendix I
    All Acipenseriformes (sturgeon and paddlefish), including the 
beluga sturgeon, were listed in Appendix II at COP10 in 1997. 
Historically found in the waters of the Caspian, Black, Azov, and 
Adriatic Seas, the beluga sturgeon is currently limited to the Caspian 
and Black Seas. The species has declined as a result of over-harvesting 
for the caviar trade, illegal harvest and trade (estimated to be ten 
times greater than legal trade), habitat loss and degradation, and 
pollution (largely associated with the petro-chemical industry). Over-
harvest has sharply increased since dissolution of the Soviet Union in 
1991. The species' life history makes it particularly vulnerable to 
exploitation and depletion. The beluga sturgeon is a long-lived and 
slow growth species, reaching reproductive age between 11-17 years of 
age. Furthermore, individuals do not reproduce on an annual basis. 
Males spawn every 4 to 7 years, while females may only reproduce every 
4 to 8 years.

[[Page 19230]]

The problem is further compounded by the proliferation of dams and 
other river barriers, which prevent passage of individuals to suitable 
spawning areas as well as important habitats required for feeding and 
protection of juveniles and sub-adults.
    At the present time, the Caspian Sea population is believed to be 
so depleted that it may no longer support reproduction in the wild. At 
its sixteenth meeting in December 2000, the Animals Committee reviewed 
the status of all Acipenseriformes as part of Phase IV of the 
Significant Trade Review process, pursuant to Decision 11.95 (Regarding 
trade in sturgeons and paddlefish) and Resolution Conf. 8.9 (Rev.) 
(Trade in specimens of Appendix-II species taken from the wild). Based 
on the information available at the time, the species was placed in 
Category 1 (according to Decision 11.106 g)), i.e., a ``species for 
which the available information indicates that the provisions of 
Article IV of the Convention are not being implemented.'' Subsequently, 
at its forty-fifth meeting in June 2001, the Standing Committee adopted 
the Secretariat's recommendation of limited export quotas, prohibition 
of the 2001 Fall season harvest, development of regional management 
plans for sturgeon species from the Black and Caspian Sea, and 
implementation of a research project to assess the status and abundance 
of all Caspian and Black Seas sturgeon populations, including the 
beluga sturgeon. The commitment of range countries to the conservation 
of the species is exemplified by their adherence to all of the Standing 
Committee's recommendations. Given these conservation efforts, we 
believe that transfer of beluga sturgeon from Appendix II to I could be 
counterproductive and discourage range countries from further 
implementing the Standing Committee's recommendations. Therefore, the 
United States does not intend to submit an uplisting proposal at COP12.
Reptiles and Amphibians
32. Ozark hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi)--Proposal 
for Inclusion in Appendix II
    The Ozark hellbender is an aquatic salamander, native to streams of 
the Ozark Plateau in Arkansas and Missouri. It has not previously been 
proposed for CITES listing. Kelly Irwin, a State herpetologist with the 
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, has suggested listing the species in 
Appendix II. The species is threatened throughout its range by habitat 
fragmentation due to siltation and erosion from mining, impoundment 
construction, and timber harvest. Habitat has also been lost due to 
pesticide and mining residue contamination. Take is not a major threat 
to this subspecies due to the difficulty of locating and capturing the 
animal in the wild and maintaining it in captivity as well as laws in 
range States prohibiting its take. It is considered a Priority 6 
candidate species for review by our Division of Endangered and 
Threatened Species (66 FR 54807-54832, October 30, 2001). Because trade 
does not constitute a threat to the species, the United States does not 
intend to submit a proposal to list it in Appendix II.
33. Alligator snapping turtle (Macroclemys temminckii)--Proposal for 
Inclusion in Appendix II
    The alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle to 
inhabit the United States. At COP10, the United States submitted a 
proposal to include the alligator snapping turtle in Appendix II. The 
proposal was withdrawn after some countries expressed the view that 
international trade is minimal and conservation problems for the 
species should be addressed through domestic measures. There was also 
opposition from the State of Louisiana to the proposal. Many countries 
at COP10 indicated that, for an endemic species such as the alligator 
snapper (which is confined to the United States in river systems that 
drain into the Gulf of Mexico), inclusion in Appendix III would be 
preferable. The species is threatened by habitat loss and modification, 
and harvest for use as pets and for human consumption. Records show a 
generally steady increase in exports of alligator snapping turtles over 
the past 12 years from just 290 exported in 1989 to around 23,500 
exported in 2000. From our records, we are unable to determine if the 
origin of these turtles is wild or captive, so the impact of the trade 
on wild populations is difficult to assess. In addition, few 
populations of alligator snapping turtle have been well studied, and 
the effects of harvest on populations is poorly documented.
    The U.S. Geological Survey is currently assessing the status of 
North American turtle species, including the alligator snapping turtle. 
Information gathered since COP10 more strongly supports the 
qualification of the species for listing in Appendix II. However, 
instead of submitting an Appendix-II proposal, we believe that listing 
the species in Appendix III would improve the regulation, protection, 
and control of the species in domestic and international trade. 
Therefore, whereas the United States does not intend to propose this 
species for listing in Appendix II, we have proposed including the 
species in Appendix III through our domestic process (see 65 FR 4217).
34. Map turtles (Graptemys spp.)--Proposal for Inclusion in Appendix II
    Map turtles are freshwater species that inhabit river systems in 
the east central portion of the United States, with one species ranging 
north into southern Canada. At COP10, the United States submitted a 
proposal to include nine of the 12 species of map turtles in Appendix 
II (and to leave the three more common species unlisted). The proposal 
received a majority of votes, but did not receive the two-thirds 
majority required for adoption (37 votes for and 19 votes against). Map 
turtles are threatened by habitat loss and modification, poor water 
quality conditions, and harvest for use as pets and for human 
consumption. Records show that the export of map turtles has generally 
steadily increased over the past 12 years. A minimum of 670 turtles 
were exported in 1989, and a maximum of 202,000 were exported in 2000. 
From our records, we are unable to determine if the origin of these 
turtles is wild or captive, so the impact of the trade on wild 
populations is difficult to assess. In addition, few populations of map 
turtles have been well studied, and the effects of harvest on 
populations is poorly documented. The U.S. Geological Survey is 
currently assessing the status of North American turtle species, 
including the map turtles. Instead of submitting another Appendix-II 
proposal for map turtles, we believe that including map turtles in 
Appendix III would improve the regulation, protection, and control of 
these species in domestic and international trade. Therefore, whereas 
the United States does not intend to propose map turtles for listing in 
Appendix II, we have proposed including the genus in Appendix III 
through our domestic process (see 65 FR 4217).
35. Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)--Proposal for 
Inclusion in Appendix II
    The common snapping turtle occurs throughout the United States east 
of the Rockies, north into southern Canada, and south into Central 
America, Colombia, and Ecuador. The species has not been proposed 
previously for CITES listing. Common snapping turtles are harvested in 
large numbers both for food and for the pet trade. Although certain 
local or regional populations may have been depleted by over-harvest, 

[[Page 19231]]

species continues to be generally common and widely distributed. Much 
of the market is domestic, although international trade involving the 
United States may be increasing. Over the past 11 years the minimum 
number of live common snapping turtles exported per year averaged 
13,300 specimens. From our records, we are unable to determine if the 
origin of these turtles is wild or captive, so the impact of the trade 
on wild populations is difficult to assess. In addition, few 
populations of common snapping turtles have been well studied, and the 
effects of harvest on populations are poorly documented. The U.S. 
Geological Survey is currently assessing the status of North American 
turtle species, including the common snapping turtle. The species does 
not appear to qualify for listing in Appendix II at this time, given 
the general abundance of the species throughout most of its range. 
Therefore, the United States does not intend to submit a listing 
proposal for the common snapping turtle at COP12.
36. Spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata)--Proposal for Inclusion in 
Appendix II
    The spotted turtle occurs in southern Ontario, Canada, and in 
northeastern, upper Midwestern, mid-Atlantic, and southeastern States 
in the United States. At COP11, the United States submitted a proposal 
for the listing of the spotted turtle in Appendix II. However, the 
majority of CITES Parties did not feel that the threat posed by 
international trade was significant in relation to threats from habitat 
loss and collection for domestic use, and did not support the proposal. 
This species was again included among the initial set of species 
considered for COP12. A large number of commenters recommended that a 
listing proposal be submitted at COP12. However, no new data were 
submitted to indicate that a new CITES listing proposal might be 
successful. Therefore, the United States is unlikely to submit a 
listing proposal for spotted turtle at COP12. The U.S. Geological 
Survey is currently conducting an in-depth review of native U.S. turtle 
species being harvested for domestic and international trade. The final 
report on this project is due in April 2002. If that report concludes 
that the spotted turtle deserves CITES protections, the United States 
may prepare and submit a proposal to list the species in Appendix II.
37. California mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata)--Proposal for 
Inclusion in Appendix II
    The California mountain kingsnake has a restricted distribution on 
the west side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California and in 
the coast ranges from southwestern Oregon to northern Baja California, 
Mexico. Major threats to this species are habitat loss, particularly in 
southern California, and collection for commercial trade. This species 
is not currently listed under CITES. It was considered for a possible 
listing proposal for COP11. However, available information on the 
status of populations and the impact of collection on populations was, 
at that time, extremely limited, and appeared inadequate to fulfill 
CITES listing criteria. Therefore, the United States did not submit a 
listing proposal for the California mountain kingsnake at COP11. In an 
effort to gather whatever new information might be available on the 
status of this species, it was included in the initial set of species 
being considering for COP12. In response to our request for comments on 
possible species proposals for COP12, the Humane Society of the United 
States and the Humane Society International recommended the California 
mountain kingsnake be listed in Appendix II, while the Western 
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies recommended against listing. 
However, no new data were submitted by any of the commenters to 
indicate that CITES listing criteria might be satisfied. Therefore, the 
United States is unlikely to submit a listing proposal for the 
California mountain kingsnake at COP12. However, the U.S. Geological 
Survey is currently conducting an in-depth review of native U.S. snake 
species being harvested for domestic and international trade. The final 
report on this project is due in April 2002. If that report concludes 
that the California mountain kingsnake deserves CITES protection, the 
United States may prepare and submit a proposal to list the species in 
Appendix II.
38. Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)--Proposal for Inclusion in 
Appendix II
    The timber rattlesnake occurs from New England southward through 
Mid-Atlantic, southeastern, and southern States to Arkansas and Texas. 
At least two subspecies are recognized. Major threats to this species 
are habitat loss, particularly den sites in the northern portion of its 
range and native forest habitat in the southeastern and southern 
portions of its range, and collection for commercial trade. At COP11, 
the United States submitted an Appendix-II listing proposal for the 
timber rattlesnake. However, the majority of CITES Parties did not feel 
that the threat posed by international trade was significant in 
relation to threats from habitat loss and collection for domestic use, 
and did not support the proposal. It was withdrawn from consideration 
prior to a vote. This species was included among the initial set of 
species considered for COP12. In response to our initial request for 
comments, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Humane Society 
of the United States, and the Humane Society International recommended 
the timber rattlesnake be listed in Appendix II, but the Florida Fish 
and Wildlife Commission and Georgia Department of Natural Resources 
opposed an Appendix-II listing. One commenter recommended Appendix I 
for the timber rattlesnake, and two organizations recommended Appendix 
III. Our review of trade data since COP11 indicates that documented 
trade has increased somewhat. Nevertheless, in the absence of new data 
on the threats posed by international trade, the United States is 
unlikely to submit a listing proposal for the timber rattlesnake at 
COP12. However, if the U.S. Geological Survey report on native U.S. 
snake species being harvested for domestic and international trade, due 
in April 2002, concludes that the timber rattlesnake deserves CITES 
protection, the United States may prepare and submit a proposal to list 
the species in Appendix II.
39. Eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)--Proposal for 
Inclusion in Appendix II
    The eastern diamondback rattlesnake ranges along the coastal plain 
from southeastern North Carolina to the Florida Keys to southern 
Mississippi and extreme southeastern Louisiana. The major threats to 
this species include habitat loss and degradation (due primarily to 
conversion of suitable habitat to loblolly pine plantations, 
agricultural fields, and commercial and residential areas), collection 
for trade and rattlesnake roundups, and intentional killing. The 
species is not currently listed under CITES. It was considered for a 
possible listing proposal for COP11. However, available information on 
the status of populations and the impact of collection on populations 
was, at that time, extremely limited, and appeared inadequate to 
fulfill CITES listing criteria. Therefore, the United States did not 
submit a listing proposal for the eastern diamondback rattlesnake at 
COP11. In response to our initial request for comments on possible 
species proposals for COP12, the Humane Society of the United States 
and the Humane Society International recommended the eastern 
diamondback rattlesnake be listed in

[[Page 19232]]

Appendix II, but the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, 
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, and Georgia Department of Natural 
Resources opposed an Appendix-II listing. However, no new information 
was presented on the status of populations or magnitude of harvest.
    Our review of trade data since 1996 indicates cause for concern for 
this species. Over 5,400 skins have been exported since 1999, some 
3,600 ``skin pieces'' were exported in 2000, and over 100 kilograms of 
meat were exported in 1998. Still, the extent of the threat posed by 
international trade is poorly understood, and, consequently, the United 
States does not intend to submit an Appendix-II listing proposal for 
the eastern diamondback rattlesnake at COP12. We will continue to 
closely monitor the status of this species. As with the timber 
rattlesnake, if the U.S. Geological Survey report on native U.S. snake 
species being harvested for domestic and international trade, due in 
April 2002, concludes that the eastern diamondback deserves CITES 
protection, the United States may prepare and submit a proposal to list 
the species in Appendix II.
40. Prehensile-tailed skink (Corucia zebrata)--Proposal for Transfer 
From Appendix II to Appendix I
    The prehensile-tailed or Solomon Islands skink is found in the 
lowland primary forests of the Solomon Islands (not a Party to CITES) 
and the islands of Bougainville and Buka, Papua New Guinea. It was 
listed in Appendix II on June 6, 1992. No other proposals have been 
submitted ever since. The primary threats to C. zebrata are habitat 
destruction and collection for the pet trade. According to WCMC, about 
22,900 live specimens of C. zebrata were traded between 1992 and 2000, 
mostly wild-caught specimens originating from the Solomon Islands. Wild 
populations of the prehensile-tailed skink are very susceptible to 
removal of individuals because of the species' delayed reproduction and 
low fertility. Juveniles reach sexual maturity at 4-6 years of age. 
Fertility among C. zebrata females is low, with most females breeding 
biennially. After about seven months of pregnancy, most wild females 
give birth to a single live offspring. Neonatal mortality may reach up 
to 40 percent, primarily due to a high incidence of congenital defects.
    At its fifteenth meeting in July 1999, the Animals Committee 
reviewed the status of the C. zebrata as part of Phase IV of the 
Significant Trade Review process, pursuant to Resolution Conf. 8.9 
(Rev.) (Trade in specimens of Appendix-II species taken from the wild). 
Based on the information available at the time, the species was 
categorized as a ``species with insufficient information'' (category 
d)ii) of Decision 10.79 d); now category 2 of Decision 11.106 g)). As a 
result of such categorization, the Animals Committee issued primary 
recommendations, through the CITES Secretariat, to the Solomon Islands 
requesting detailed information on the distribution and abundance of 
the species in that country, and the scientific basis for permitting 
export of the species. Because of the Solomon Islands' failure to 
respond to the Animals Committee within the 90-day deadline established 
by Resolution Conf. 8.9 (Rev.), at its forty-fifth meeting in June 
2001, the Standing Committee adopted the CITES Secretariat's 
recommendation that all Parties suspend imports of specimens of C. 
zebrata from the Solomon Islands, until the Animals Committee 
recommendations are implemented (Notification No. 2001/043, dated July 
9, 2001). Given that this trade suspension remains in effect, the 
United States does not intend to submit at COP12 a proposal to transfer 
C. zebrata from Appendix II to I.
41. Madagascar Reptile Species--Proposals for Transfer of Several 
Species From Appendix II to Appendix I
    At the seventeenth meeting of the Animals Committee (July-August 
2001) and the eleventh meeting of the Plants Committee (September 
2001), it was agreed that both committees, with assistance from the 
Secretariat, will conduct a country-wide significant trade review 
pursuant to Resolution Conf. 8.9 (Rev.) (Trade in specimens of 
Appendix-II species taken from the wild) on Madagascar. The objective 
of this country-wide review, the first of its kind, is to review trends 
in trade in Appendix-II species, current concerns about compliance with 
Article IV, institutional and administrative measures related to 
implementation of Article IV, and the effectiveness of relevant 
national legislation and its implementation. Based on the findings made 
during the country-wide review, the Animals and Plants Committees will 
draft an implementation plan with recommendations and deadlines for 
improving management of exports of Appendix-II species from Madagascar. 
Given the country-wide review being undertaken by the Animals and 
Plants Committees, the United States does not intend to submit at COP12 
the following proposals involving Madagascar species.
    The Madagascar big-headed turtle (Erymnochelys madagascariensis), 
also called the Madagascar sideneck turtle and big-headed Madagascar 
side-necked turtle, was listed in CITES Appendix II on July 1, 1975. It 
was proposed for uplisting to Appendix I by James Barzyk, Pro Wildlife, 
The Humane Society of the United States, L. Elliot, and the Humane 
Society International. It is found in lakes, rivers, and permanent 
wetlands in the lowlands of western Madagascar. Most of the remaining 
populations occur outside of protected areas. Although the biggest 
threat to this species is consumption by locals, international trade 
has also contributed to the population decline (the population is 
expected to decrease by 80 percent over the next 75 years). However, 
the population data is questionable since much of the western part of 
the species' range has not been surveyed and historical data is 
lacking. The Reptile and Amphibian Working Group of the IUCN Captive 
Breeding Specialist Group is recommending an IUCN listing of Critically 
Endangered. Because Madagascar's export quota in 2001 was exceeded by 
248.0 percent in U.S. imports alone, trade may represent a greater 
threat to the species than it was throughout the 1990s.
    The flat-backed tortoise (Pyxis planicauda) and the spider tortoise 
(Pyxis arachnoides) were listed in CITES Appendix II on July 1, 1975. 
The flat-backed spider tortoise, also called the flat-shelled spider 
tortoise, Madagascar flat-shelled tortoise, and Madagascar flat-tailed 
tortoise, is found in sandy soil and under leaf litter in the Menabe 
region of Madagascar. The habitat must have fungi and flowers available 
seasonally. Its distribution is local and very fragmented, although new 
subpopulations have recently been discovered. The spider tortoise is 
found in sandy areas of Didieraceae and Euphorbia forests throughout 
southern and southwestern coastal Madagascar. Pyxis species mature 
slowly, have a limited reproductive potential (1-3 eggs per year), and 
occur in low densities. The populations have likely declined by 80 to 
90 percent from peak levels due to habitat loss as well as legal and 
illegal trade. The species are considered extremely difficult to breed 
in captivity, and many wild subpopulations are extinct. Because 
Madagascar's export quota in 2001 for the flat-backed tortoise was 
exceeded by 113.8 percent and for the spider tortoise by 176.4 percent, 
in U.S. imports alone, at least nine percent of the flat-backed and 
17.6 percent of the spider tortoise wild populations

[[Page 19233]]

may have been exported to the United States in a single year.
    The Parson's chameleon (Chamaeleo [Calumma] parsonii parsonii), one 
of the three largest species of chameleon in the world, is endemic to 
the densely forested regions on the eastern half of Madagascar. All 
chameleons were listed in Appendix II on February 4, 1977. Long-term 
population studies have not been recorded for any of Madagascar's 
chameleon species. A field assessment was completed in 1999 for the 
IUCN Species Survival Commission on nine key Chamaeleo species 
including C. parsonii. However no specimens of the subspecies C. 
parsonii parsonii were recorded in the sites surveyed. The largest 
threat to the survival of C. parsonii parsonii in the wild is habitat 
destruction, followed by commercial exploitation for the pet trade. The 
Parson's chameleon is not easily maintained or bred in captivity. 
Therefore, most specimens in trade are wild-caught. There are currently 
no recognized breeding programs for C. parsonii parsonii in Madagascar, 
and past attempts by exporters at hatching the eggs harvested from 
wild-caught gravid females have been largely unsuccessful. As of August 
2001, there were no F2 (second generation) specimens of C. parsonii 
parsonii in Europe or the United States. Captivity-related stress, 
disease, and inadequate captive husbandry account for significant 
levels of early mortality in wild-caught imported specimens regardless 
of life-stage at import. Wild populations of the Parson's chameleon are 
very susceptible to removal of individuals because of the species' 
reproductive biology. Limited biological information from captive 
management indicates that Parson's chameleons may reach sexual maturity 
and adult size between three and five years of age, substantially later 
than any other species of Chamaeleo. Clutch sizes in captivity range 
between 20-60 eggs, and the interval between clutches is one year. In 
November 1994, the Standing Committee directed the CITES Secretariat to 
inform all Parties about its recommendation to suspend imports of 
several Chamaeleo species (including C. parsonii) from Madagascar 
because Madagascar had not satisfactorily implemented recommendations 
of the Animals Committee made in accordance with Resolution Conf. 8.9 
(Rev.) (Trade in specimens of Appendix-II species taken from the wild). 
Field studies to address some of the recommendations of the Animals 
Committee began in October 1998. As of August 2001, no data has been 
published from this research, and the CITES suspension on imports of 
Parson's and other chameleons from Madagascar remains in effect. 
According to WCMC, approximately 18,600 wild-caught C. parsonii 
(including C. parsonii cristifer and C. parsonii parsonii) were legally 
exported from Madagascar from 1986 to 1999, in spite of the fact that 
the January 20, 1995, import suspension (Notification to the Parties 
No. 833) remains in effect (Notification to the Parties No. 1999/20). 
Although the 1995 import suspension has significantly reduced trade in 
wild-caught specimens of this species, the suspension could be lifted 
in the future. In the event the Standing Committee decides to lift the 
suspension and trade resumes, this species would be placed under heavy 
pressure from collectors due to the international retail market value, 
which is as much as 25 times higher than the four species currently 
eligible for exportation from Madagascar, and the highest of any 
chameleon species.
42. Yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea)--Proposal for Transfer 
From Appendix II to Appendix I
    The yellow-crested cockatoo was listed in CITES Appendix II on June 
6, 1981. It is endemic to Indonesia, but has been introduced to 
Singapore and Hong Kong. Trapping for the commercial bird trade and 
habitat destruction (loss of nest sites) due to agricultural 
encroachment and illegal timber harvesting have reduced the wild 
population. Once common, the species is now extinct in parts of its 
range. This species was proposed by Germany for transfer from Appendix 
II to I at COP10 and COP11, but the proposals were withdrawn because 
the Indonesian Government and BirdLife Indonesia had developed a 
recovery plan for the species, with a goal of establishing a community-
based sustainable-use management plan for the species. Furthermore, the 
Indonesian Government banned the export of the subspecies C. sulphurea 
citrinocristata in 1992 and all other subspecies in 1995. It is 
believed that these export bans have been at least partially successful 
in reducing the level of trade in this species. Dian Agista, a 
researcher working for the Conservation Programme Department, BirdLife 
Indonesia, did field surveys in 1999 and 2000. Although she attributes 
the original decline of the species to over-exploitation for the 
commercial pet trade in the 1980s, the continuing decline is related to 
habitat loss. WCMC trade data indicates that most of the exports 
originated in Indonesia, but 99.3 percent occurred before 1994 and 
legal exports have dropped significantly since then. We have recently 
learned that another CITES Party may submit a proposal at COP12 to 
transfer the yellow-crested cockatoo from Appendix II to I. Therefore, 
the United States does not intend to submit a similar proposal.
43. Yellow-headed amazon (Amazona oratrix)--Proposal for Transfer From 
Appendix II to Appendix I
    The yellow-headed amazon was listed in CITES Appendix II on June 6, 
1981. Defenders of Wildlife and Species Survival Network have proposed 
that this species be uplisted to Appendix I. The species is found 
largely in Mexico, with smaller populations in Belize, Guatemala, and 
Honduras. The present range is similar to the historic range although 
the distribution has been reduced to isolated sub-populations due to 
habitat destruction (loss of nest sites) and mostly illegal trapping. 
The population has declined by 68 percent in the last 10 years, with as 
few as 7,000 wild birds remaining in Mexico. Its commercial harvest and 
export is prohibited in Mexico, Belize, and Honduras. The United States 
considered a similar proposal to transfer this species from Appendix II 
to I for COP10, but Mexico, the primary range country for the species, 
did not support such a proposal. Therefore, the United States did not 
submit a proposal for this species at COP11. From various discussions 
and meetings with CITES authorities in Mexico, we are aware of efforts 
in that country to better control domestic trade in indigenous birds. 
Among other things, Mexico prohibits the export of any native species 
unless their export is part of an approved community-based, 
sustainable-use management plan. In part because the yellow-headed 
amazon is a potential candidate species for a sustainable-use program, 
Mexico has not supported the transfer of this species to Appendix I. In 
addition, only two birds were legally exported from the range countries 
between 1990 and 1999. Most of the legally exported birds were captive-
    Although this species is a popular cage bird and has been subject 
to significant illegal trade between the United States and Mexico in 
the past, U.S. and Mexican wildlife law enforcement officials already 
devote significant effort to interdiction of illegal trade in this and 
other parrot species, and it is doubtful that these enforcement efforts 
would be affected by transfer of the species to Appendix I. We 
understand that Mexican and

[[Page 19234]]

international NGOs will meet in the near future with the Mexican Parrot 
Steering Committee, part of the National Committee for Wildlife 
Protection, to discuss the status of the species and whether a species 
proposal at COP12 is warranted. We are encouraged by Mexico's 
continuing efforts to assess the conservation and management of this 
species and the United States will likely support Mexico if a listing 
proposal is presented at COP12.
44. Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)--Proposal for Transfer From 
Appendix I to Appendix II
    The peregrine falcon was listed in CITES Appendix I on July 1, 
1975. The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies has 
requested that the species be downlisted from Appendix I to Appendix II 
or III. The peregrine falcon has 19 recognized subspecies. It breeds in 
habitats ranging from tropics to tundra, deserts, marine habitat, and 
altitudes up to 4000 meters. While the species appears to be recovering 
in many parts of the Western Hemisphere and was removed from the U.S. 
Endangered Species List, habitat loss and contamination due to 
continued use of organochlorines in some countries (including those 
along migratory routes) continue to threaten the species. There is also 
a lack of population data for many subspecies.
    At the seventeenth meeting of the Animals Committee (July-August 
2001), the United States presented its review of the biological status 
of the peregrine falcon pursuant to the periodic review of the 
Appendices process (previously Resolution Conf. 9.1, now Conf. 11.1, 
Annex 2). In the review, the United States presented three options for 
consideration: (1) Maintain the species in Appendix I, (2) transfer the 
entire species to Appendix II with a zero quota for wild-caught birds, 
and (3) transfer certain geographic sub-populations to Appendix II with 
a zero quota on wild-caught birds. Three countries supported the 
retention of the species in Appendix I and the review was referred to 
the working group for further discussion. After lengthy discussions, 
the working group agreed that, although on a global scale the species 
did not meet the biological criteria for inclusion in Appendix I, it 
could not recommend to the Animals Committee that the depository 
country prepare and submit a proposal to transfer the species to 
Appendix II because of concerns about the status of certain subspecies 
and small populations. Given the lack of information available on all 
subspecies, the lack of monitoring in some countries, the continued 
decline of some subspecies, and the enforcement difficulties in 
distinguishing subspecies from each other, the United States does not 
plan to submit a proposal to transfer the species from Appendix I to 
45. Asian Pangolins (Manis spp.)--Proposal for Transfer From Appendix 
II to Appendix I
    There are three species of Asian pangolin, Manis pentadactyla, M. 
crassicaudata, and M. javanica, all of which have been listed in CITES 
Appendix II since 1975. At COP11, the United States co-sponsored a 
proposal with India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka to transfer all three Asian 
pangolin species from Appendix II to I, due to over-exploitation for 
food, skins, and scales. Although there was considerable range country 
support for this proposal in Committee I at COP11, a compromise was 
adopted to retain the species in Appendix II with a zero quota on all 
commercial trade. The compromise was adopted primarily because it would 
allow the species to remain in the CITES Significant Trade Review 
process, thereby stimulating needed research and conservation action. 
However, the Significant Trade Review process for Asian pangolins ended 
with a CITES Secretariat recommendation that no further action be taken 
on these species until the zero quota is removed. Removal of the zero 
quota will require submission of a proposal. In order to solicit 
whatever new information might have been generated since COP11, these 
species were included in our first Federal Register notice soliciting 
information on possible species proposals for COP12. No new information 
was received. Therefore, the United States does not intend to submit a 
proposal for Asian pangolins for COP12.
46. Musk Deer (Moschus spp.)--Proposal for Transfer From Appendix II to 
Appendix I
    Musk deer are native to Asia, ranging from eastern Siberia south 
through Manchuria and central China to the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-
Himalayan region of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. The number of 
Moschus species is not resolved, with authorities describing anywhere 
from four to seven species. This, in turn, affects subspecies 
classification. The subspecies Moschus moschiferus moschiferus was 
first listed in CITES Appendix I on July 1, 1975. In 1979, the listing 
was changed so that M. moschiferus (Himalayan population) was listed in 
Appendix I and all remaining populations of Moschus spp. were listed in 
Appendix II. In 1983, the listing was once again changed such that all 
musk deer populations of Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Burma/Myanmar, 
Nepal, and Pakistan were listed in Appendix I and all other musk deer 
populations were listed in Appendix II.
    At COP11, the United States co-sponsored a proposal with India and 
Nepal to transfer all Appendix-II musk deer taxa to Appendix I, due to 
over-exploitation for musk glands. The Russian Federation and China 
were opposed to this proposal, so Resolution Conf. 11.7 (Conservation 
of and trade in musk deer) and Decisions 11.57, 11.83, 11.92, 11.149 
(Regarding musk deer) were adopted as a compromise. These two documents 
directed the Animals Committee, the Secretariat, and CITES Parties to 
take various actions on behalf of musk deer research and conservation. 
The results of the activities were reported at the forty-sixth meeting 
of the Standing Committee in March 2002. In addition, the musk deer is 
in the midst of the CITES Significant Trade Review process, with 
recommendations soon to be issued. As a consequence of these 
activities, it is unlikely that the United States will submit another 
proposal to uplist musk deer at COP12. However, if adequate progress is 
not made, and credible information becomes available indicating that 
musk deer populations continue to decline, the United States may 
prepare and submit a proposal for COP12.
47. Saiga (Saiga Tatarica)--Proposal for Transfer From Appendix II to 
Appendix I
    The saiga occurs on the Eurasian steppes of the Russian Federation, 
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia. It was included in Appendix II of 
CITES on February 16, 1995. Saiga populations numbered over one million 
as recently as the early 1990s, but have been reduced to only a small 
fraction of that number over the last four years. The total population 
estimate for 2000 was 178,000. Population reductions have come about 
primarily as a result of excessive hunting, but habitat degradation has 
also played a role. The United States has played an active role in 
saiga conservation efforts in the past year. We provided a 10,000 
dollar grant to A. Luschekina for her saiga research and conservation 
efforts in the Republic of Kalmykia (Russian Federation). We have also 
played a leading role in organizing a saiga conservation workshop, to 
be held in Kalmykia in Spring 2002. This workshop will bring together 
researchers, conservationists, and government officials to develop an

[[Page 19235]]

emergency conservation strategy for saiga. The saiga was just reviewed 
under the CITES Significant Trade Review process. One recommendation 
from the review was that both the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan 
should halt export of saiga products; both have agreed to do so. 
Finally, saiga experts we have consulted have expressed the opinion 
that an Appendix-I listing for saiga could be counter-productive at 
this stage. As a consequence of these activities, the United States is 
unlikely to submit an Appendix-I listing proposal for saiga at COP12.

Request for Information and Comments

    We invite any information and comments concerning any of the 
possible COP12 species proposals, resolutions, decisions, and agenda 
items discussed above. You must submit your information and comments to 
us no later than May 17, 2002, to be ensured of consideration.

Reminder of Public Meeting

    We remind you that we will hold a public meeting to discuss with 
you species proposals, proposed resolutions, proposed decisions, and 
agenda items that the United States is considering submitting for 
consideration at COP12. We announced this public meeting in our Federal 
Register notice of March 27, 2002 (67 FR 14728). The public meeting 
will be held on April 17, 2002, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Sidney 
Yates Auditorium of the Department of the Interior at 18th and C 
Streets, NW., Washington, DC. You can obtain directions to the building 
by contacting the Division of Management Authority (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT, above). Sidney Yates Auditorium is accessible to 
the handicapped. Persons planning to attend the meeting who require 
interpretation for the hearing impaired should notify the Division of 
Management Authority as soon as possible.

Future Actions

    We expect the CITES Secretariat to provide us with a provisional 
agenda for COP12 within the next several months. Once we receive the 
provisional agenda, we will publish it in a Federal Register notice. We 
will also provide it through our Website.
    The United States must submit any species proposals, proposed 
resolutions, proposed decisions, and agenda items for consideration at 
COP12, to the CITES Secretariat 150 days prior to the start of the 
meeting (i.e., by June 6, 2002). We will consider all available 
information and comments, including those presented at the public 
meeting (see ``DATES'' above) or received in writing during the comment 
period, in deciding which species proposals, proposed resolutions, 
proposed decisions, and agenda items warrant submission by the United 
States for consideration of the Parties. Those we decide to submit for 
consideration at COP12 will be submitted to the CITES Secretariat by 
June 6, 2002.
    Approximately four months prior to COP12, we will announce those 
species proposals, proposed resolutions, proposed decisions, and agenda 
items submitted by the United States to the CITES Secretariat for 
consideration at COP12 by posting a notice on our Website (http://
    Through a Federal Register notice approximately two months prior to 
COP12, we will publish the provisional agenda for COP12 and inform you 
about proposed U.S. negotiating positions on proposals to amend the 
Appendices, draft resolutions, draft decisions, discussion papers, and 
other issues before the Parties for consideration at COP12. We will 
also publish an announcement of a public meeting that we expect to hold 
approximately 30 to 45 days prior to COP12, to receive public input on 
our positions regarding COP12 issues.
    Prior to COP12, we will post on our Website any changes the United 
States makes to its proposed negotiating positions contained in the 
Federal Register notice referred to in the above paragraph.
    Author: The primary authors of this notice are Mark Albert, 
Division of Management Authority; and Dr. Javier Alvarez, Division of 
Scientific Authority; under the authority of the U.S. Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: April 1, 2002.
Steve Williams,
[FR Doc. 02-9512 Filed 4-15-02; 4:56 pm]