Enviros seek international trade protections for 200-plus species

By Michael Doyle | 05/22/2024 04:06 PM EDT

The groups want the United States to advocate for the species at next year’s CITES Conference of the Parties.

A group of sea otters in the water

A group of sea otters is seen in Morro Bay, California, on Jan. 15, 2010. Reed Saxon/AP

A trio of conservation groups on Wednesday urged the Fish and Wildlife Service to push for a ban on the international commercial trade of 200-plus species ranging from tarantulas to sea otters to the American elm tree.

Acting well in advance of an international conference scheduled for next year, the Natural Resources Defense Council joined with the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife in itemizing its wish list that it wants U.S. negotiators to adopt. Specifically, the 88-page letter proposes adding the species to Appendix I under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

If adopted at next year’s CITES Conference of the Parties, known as CoP20, the move would ban the international trade of these species for commercial purposes.


“In this moment of human history, to do anything less than aggressively using the tools available and pushing the limits of those tools to counter the biodiversity and climate crises is to be complicit in the suffering of hundreds of millions of people and the extinction of thousands of species,” the conservation groups wrote.