CITES issued a notification to the parties this morning (via Chameleon Specialist Group)


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Chameleon Specialist Group

CITES issued a notification to the parties this morning (No. 2016/018;…/default/files/notif/E-Notif-2016-018.pdf) recommending that import of Kinyongia fischeri and K. tavetana from Tanzania, Trioceros quadricornis from Cameroon, and Chamaeleo gracilis and C. senegalensis from Benin and Ghana be suspended.

This recommendation stems from the CITES Review of Significant Trade in specimens of Appendix-II species started in 2011 for these and other species. Stemming from this review, the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) was instructed to gather information and provide a preliminary categorization of these species for review at the 2014 Animals Committee Meeting. These species reports were submitted in December 2013, and can be found here:…/def…/files/eng/com/ac/27/E-AC27-12-04.pdf. At its meeting, the Animals Committee ranked the trade in each of these species as either of "urgent concern" or "possible concern". They then issued a series of recommendations to each specified range state (to be addressed by the Management Authority within 90 days and 2 years). These recommendations can be found in Annex 1 here:…/fi…/eng/com/ac/27/wg/E-AC27-WG-01.pdf.

At the 66th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee (SC66, Geneva, January 2016), the committee was informed that the aforementioned recommendations made by the Animals Committee had not been complied with. In fact, these range states did not respond or submit any of the requested information (…/de…/files/eng/com/sc/66/E-SC66-31-01.pdf). As a result, the Standing Committee has recommended that all Parties suspend trade covered by Article IV ( of the Convention for specimens of these species. “These recommended trade suspensions will remain in place until these Parties demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Standing Committee, through the Secretariat, compliance with Article IV, paragraphs 2 (a) and 3 for the species concerned, and provided full information to the Secretariat regarding compliance with the recommendations of the Animals Committee.”

As many may recall, in 1994 Madagascar failed to provide a satisfactory response to such recommendations following a Review of Significant Trade on Chamaeleo sp. (now Calumma and Furcifer sp.). This resulted in CITES issuing a Recommendation to the Parties to suspend all imports of Chamaeleo sp. (except F. lateralis, F. oustaleti, F. pardalis and F. verrucosus) from Madagascar. This trade suspension had been in effect until recently and only in 2014 were quotas for some of these species reestablished (except for limited quotas for F. campani, which occurred a couple years prior).

Currently, Tanzania exports numerous different species under permits for Kinyongia fischeri. In fact, virtually none of the documented trade in this species actually represents trade in true K. fischeri (, with most trade representing exports of K. multituberculata (, K. matschiei ( and K. vosseleri ( With no WC quota for these former species having been issued through last year (…/co…/quotas/2015/ExportQuotas2015.pdf), exports of all K. fischeri-group species will likely be effected, at least in the short term. Further, more than 50% of reported international trade in Trioceros quadricornis is known to stem from exports from Equatorial Guinea, a non-range state of the species ( Despite suggestion that this trade "raises serious concerns about significant levels of smuggling activities with [this] species between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea", and "that any efforts by the Cameroonian government to manage [this species] is being undermined by the export of [this] species out of Equatorial Guinea, which may ultimately serve to destabilize the species", such trade may continue until such time as exports from Equatorial Guinea are addressed directly. Finally, both Chamaeleo senegalensis and C. gracilis are currently also exported from Togo (and given annual quotas from Ethiopia), as well as Tanzania for C. gracilis.
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