Government delegates attending CITES CoP18 (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 18th Conference of the Parties) approved greater trade protections for all nine subspecies of giraffes.

Today’s committee vote is expected to be formally approved in the coming days. The vote today to put giraffe on Appendix II was Yes 106; No 21; Abstain 7.

Said Dr. Elizabeth Bennett, WCS Vice President of Species Conservation:

“At WCS, we strongly support the submission by the Central African Republic, Chad, Kenya, Niger, Mali, and Senegal to include the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) on CITES Appendix II, which would allow countries to work to ensure that all  international commercial trade is legal and sustainable. The listing will also facilitate monitoring of the international trade in giraffe specimens.

“All nine recognized subspecies of giraffes across 19 range states will benefit from being in Appendix II.

“Giraffes are in trouble but we need to take steps to protect them to avoid a crisis.

“WCS is concerned about the multiple threats to giraffes leading to declines in many of their populations. These including habitat loss (largely through land conversion, deforestation, and expansion of agricultural and extractive activities), often worsened by drought exacerbated by the climate crisis, as well as illegal killing and trade,

“The giraffe’s future is on the line but we are optimistic for this iconic African species as it becomes listed on Appendix II.

“WCS works with government partners on the conservation of giraffes and their habitats in seven of the range states – Cameroon, DR Congo, South Sudan, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda – which contain habitat for five of the giraffe subspecies. In 2016, the status of the giraffe on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was changed to Vulnerable (from Least Concern) across its range, having declined by an estimated 40 percent over three generations, further highlighting the increasing need to protect them.”