There are over 35,000 species (over 5,000 animals and 30,000 plants) listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Note: In Australia, all cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and elephants are considered to be Appendix I species
If you are unsure whether or not a species is listed under CITES, contact the Department.
Australian List of CITES species
Australia also registers a List of CITES Species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
The list includes:
- details of the CITES Appendix in which a species is listed
- the date on which the CITES provisions first applied to the species
- any conditions or restrictions that may apply to the specimen.
For species which have been listed by CITES Parties at a higher taxonomic level e.g. family or order, the list will not name all species in these groupings. For example, all bears in the family Ursidae have been listed under CITES Appendix II. Therefore only "Ursidae" will appear on the list (except where a particular species is CITES Appendix I).
Note: If you intend to import a live CITES species, you should check the List of Specimens Suitable for Live Import to see if it is allowed to be brought into Australia and the conditions that apply.
What the CITES appendices mean
CITES Appendix I
Appendix I contains species threatened with extinction. Trade in these specimens is usually prohibited (occurs only in very exceptional circumstances) or is limited to pre–CITES specimens (specimens harvested before the date of listing on CITES).
Appendix I species includes (but is not limited to) great apes, lemurs, the giant panda, many South American monkeys, great whales, cheetah, leopards, tiger, elephants (Australian stricter domestic measure applies), rhinoceroses, many birds of prey, cranes, pheasants and parrots, all sea turtles, some crocodiles and lizards, giant salamanders, and some mussels, orchids, cycads and cacti.
If you want to trade in Pre–CITES specimens you will need a pre-CITES certificate issued by the CITES management authority in the country of export.
CITES Appendix II
Appendix II contains species that, although not threatened with extinction now, might become so unless trade in them is strictly regulated.
Australia has chosen to list some Appendix II species as Appendix I via stricter domestic measures.
If you want to trade in Appendix II species to/from Australia you will generally need both a CITES export and import permit issued by CITES management authorities.
Some Appendix II specimens carried as personal effects will not require permit.
Appendix II also includes some non–threatened species, to prevent threatened species from being traded under the guise of non–threatened species that are similar in appearance. These are referred to as 'look–alike species'.
CITES Appendix III
Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country that has asked other CITES parties for help in controlling trade.
If you are importing or exporting an Appendix III specimen to/from Australia from the listing country, it is treated like an Appendix II specimen, and you will generally need both an export and an import permit. If the Appendix III specimen comes from any other country (i.e. not the listing country), a CITES certificate of origin must be obtained. These documents must be obtained from the CITES management authority in the country of export and import.
For more information contact:
Wildlife Trade Regulation Section
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: (02) 6274 1900
Facsimile: (02) 6274 1921