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FACTBOX: CITES, regulator of trade in wild creatures

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Hague hosts a U.N. meeting to regulate global trade in endangered species of plants and animals from June 3 to 15.

Following are a few facts and figures about CITES, formally known as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora:

CITES is a pact among 171 governments to ensure trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival and imposes controls on international trade in species.

CITES regulations apply to live plants and animals as well as body parts like elephant tusk ivory or fox and seal fur.

Species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices:

- Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. It bans trade in about 530 animal species, including tigers and great apes, and more than 300 plant species. Trade in these species is permitted only in very special circumstances.

- Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be limited. It includes more than 4,460 animal species and 28,000 plant species.

- Appendix III contains over 290 species that are protected in at least one country.

At The Hague meeting, countries will be asked to consider proposals including:

FISH

SPINY DOGFISH - Germany, on behalf of the European Union wants to place this shark species on Appendix II. The dogfish is overexploited, often featuring in British fish and chips.

PORBEAGLE SHARK - Germany wants to add the shark, valued for its meat and fins, to Appendix II because of overfishing.

EUROPEAN EEL - Germany on behalf of the EU wants to place the fish, in decline partly from overfishing, on Appendix II.

PINK OR RED CORALS - Washington wants to list this precious corals, used in jewelry, on Appendix II due to overharvesting and the destruction of colonies by bottom trawls and dredges.

SAWFISH - Kenya, Nicaragua and the U.S. want to place the sawfish on Appendix I due to overfishing.

BANGGAI CARDINELFISH - Washington calls for managing these species through the CITES permit system.

SPINY LOBSTER - Brazil wants to add the Caribbean and the smoothtail spiny lobster, due to overfishing, to Appendix II.

PLANTS AND TREES

ROSEWOOD - Germany on behalf of the EU wants three species of rosewood, used for musical instruments, on Appendix II.

CEDAR - Germany on behalf of the EU wants Central and South American cedar placed on Appendix II due to heavy deforestation.

MAMMALS

ELEPHANTS - Botswana and Namibia want to keep elephant populations in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe in Appendix II but ease conditions for future ivory sales.

- Kenya and Mali want a 20-year trade ban in ivory from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to reduce poaching.

BOBCAT - The United States wants to take the bobcat or lynx out of CITES protection, as they are no longer threatened.

GAZELLE - Algeria wants to add three gazelle species, threatened with extinction, to Appendix I.

LEOPARD - Uganda wants to transfer its population of leopards from Appendix I to Appendix II to allow limited trade in sports trophies and skins for personal use.

SLOW LORIS - Cambodia want to transfer two species of the small, nocturnal primate from Appendix II to Appendix I. They are threatened by demand for traditional medicines and pets.

BLACK CAIMAN - Brazil wants to move its population of this species of crocodile from Appendix I to Appendix II.

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