The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, abbreviated as CITES, also known as the Washington Convention, was signed at Washington on 3 March 1973. It currently has 184 parties.


CITES aims to monitor trade by regulating import and export of species (whether live or dead, in parts or derivatives) listed in the Appendices to CITES in order to ensure that the survival of wild animal and plant species is not threatened by over-exploitation and –utilisation caused by international trade.


Currently, there are over 40,900 species of wild animals and plants included in the Appendices to CITES.


CITES classifies endangered species of wild animals and plants into three Appendices according to the extent to which they are threatened by trade in their specimens: 

Appendix ISpecies threatened with extinction which are or may be affected by trade
Appendix II

Species which although not necessarily now threatened with extinction may become so unless trade in specimens of such species is subject to strict regulation in order to avoid utilisation incompatible with their survival

Appendix IIINative species of a Party which considers necessary to prevent or restrict its respective exploitation