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Reeling in a big fish. Photo by Karl Kaufman, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

CITES II - a deeper look at the CITES treaty

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Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature.

I spoke last week about CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and how it protects plants and animals at risk from international trade. As part of the CITES process, the 175 signatory countries periodically gather to revisit those protections and see if additional species need protecting.

The most recent meeting was held in Doha, Qatar earlier this year. It was a mixed bag for the United States. The U.S. helped continue a moratorium on international ivory trade. A proposal submitted by Monaco, and strongly supported by the U.S., to protect Atlantic bluefin tuna was rejected.

But all the talk in the meeting halls of Doha was not about plants and animals found in far corners of the world. International trade in bobcats is regulated by CITES. Although many of the world’s spotted cats are imperiled, the bobcat is not one of them. The U.S population is estimated between 1.7 and 2.6 million and shows no significant impact from commercial trade. Therefore, the U.S. sponsored a proposal to remove CITES protections from the species, with strong support from Canada, which is also home to the cat. However, the proposal was rejected with other nations citing the possible impact to rare spotted cats due to their similarity of appearance.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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