Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)Entry ID: WCMC_155
Abstract: WCMC has provided services to the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species CITES since 1980, computerising the trade records
of species listed in the CITES Appendices, as reported by the Parties.
This computer database is the largest of its kind, currently holding
over 2 million records on trade in wildlife species and their
derivative products. The ... information spans from 1975, when a mere 148
trade records were reported, to the present and is constantly being
updated as further annual reports are received from CITES Parties.
Since 1986 more than 200,000 trade records have been reported
annually. In addition to the trade records, the database holds some
29,000 scientific names and synonyms. http://www.cites.org/.
The annual report data arrive in many different formats, ranging from
copies of permits, hand-written or printed reports, to computer tapes,
diskettes and electronic mail. The information is entered into the
database, either manually or by direct electronic transfer, and
customised translation programmes written in Perl at WCMC now enable
automatic loading of most reports received on magnetic media. Now that
WCMC is connected to the Internet, it is expected that many countries
will be able to submit their information directly via the network,
this process having already been successfully carried out by the
Management Authority of Brazil. In order to investigate the further
potential of this type of data collection WCMC has devised a
questionnaire that the CITES Secretariat is circulating to all Party
At the beginning of 1993 the trade data were transferred from a WANG
computer to an Ingres relational database held on a Sunsparc 10/30. A
large suite of custom-built programs allow sophisticated control,
maintenance and manipulation of the data; for example, information on
a species Appendix-listing is linked to the taxonomic file thus
possible errors at the data input stage are reduced to a minimum.
Current work at WCMC is linking the trade data with species
distribution information and with the Centre's Geographical
Information Systems (GIS), known as the Biodiversity Map Library, to
ensure that the information, so laboriously collected, can be used in
the best way to promote species conservation. Further links with
information on national and international legislation may be possible
in the future.
In addition to input and maintenance of the trade data, WCMC collects
information on protected areas, habitats and species of conservation
concern, and can therefore provide comprehensive analyses and reports.
The trade outputs usually comprise one of three standard formats:
Gross/Net Trade Tabulation
- will provide gross or net import/export data for a specified
year(s), country, species and/or product, thus allowing yearly
trends to be monitored.
- produces data from corresponding importing and exporting
countries for a specific year, species, product, etc., thus
allowing a comparison of the reporting between the two Parties
and a chance to identify any potentially illegal trade.
- format will provide a complete printout of all CITES trade
for a particular year reported by a specific CITES Party. Where
Parties are unable to produce their own annual report, WCMC can
produce one based on that country's returned permits.
Regular requests for information from the database are made by the
CITES Secretariat, Management and Scientific Authorities, the TRAFFIC
Network, WWF, IUCN, Universities, NGO's, researchers, journalists and
teachers, etc. With permission from the CITES Secretariat, WCMC can
provide data in any of the above formats although a fee is charged to
cover the production costs of the work.
WCMC have carried out detailed analyses of the status and trade data
have included the following:
* selected species listed in Appendix II
* Green and Hawksbill turtles
* world trade in raw and worked ivory
* Asian monitor lizards
* South East Asian pythons
* Crocodile farming and ranching
ACCESS AND DISTRIBUTION:
WCMC makes information available through published media, through
provision of datasets, and through the provision of either standard or
customised reports. WCMC is committed to the principle of the free
exchange of data with other institutions and users. In so far as is
practical, it places its data in the public domain and encourages
their wide distribution. However, costs may be incurred in accessing
and distributing datasets, and where analysis and assessment provide
an added-value service. Such costs are passed on to the user.
Start Date: 1975-01-01
ISO Topic Category
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
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Country: UNITED KINGDOM
Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2005-08-12
Last DIF Revision Date: 2009-04-20