Things you should know
An endangered or protected plant or animal is a species that will likely become instinct. The rules (and penalties) aimed at protecting endangered species by forbidding trade, hunting, etc, are much stricter than most other countries. It is explained that the protection and management of important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places is a matter of national environmental significance. Under the Act, wildlife is classified as not just live animals, it is any whole part or derivative of a plant or animal either living or non-living, for example, wood, seeds, insects, leather, fur, pills/medicines, teeth, meat, faeces, live plants, fresh or dried flowers.
CITES places species into three appendices based on their conservation status:
- Appendix I (trade is prohibited because of the danger of extinction) includes (but is not limited to):
- great apes, lemurs, the giant panda, many South American monkeys, great whales, cheetah, leopards, tiger, elephants, rhinoceroses, many birds of prey, some cranes, pheasants and parrots, all sea turtles, some crocodiles and lizards, giant salamanders, and some mussels, orchids, cycads and cacti.
- Appendix II (trade is strictly regulated to protect from future extinction)
- Appendix III (species that are protected in at least one country that has asked other CITES parties for help in controlling trade)
- Trade in Appendix II or Appendix III species requires both a CITES export and import permit issued by CITES management authorities.
- 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
In addition to the national laws, every region has its own list of specimens that they will or will not allow within its borders so before trading in these products, you should also check your home state or territory laws.
If you want to buy/sell a protected animal or plant species you can find some useful information here.
The trade of protected species (native or exotic), and the sale of products made from protected animals or plants, is not allowed on The Hot Wire.
You should be extremely cautious when buying plant or animal products online. If a product made from CITES listed plant or animal products is sent to you from overseas and is not accompanied by the proper permits, it may be seized by Customs and you could face severe penalties (up to 10 years imprisonment a $110,000 fine).