Feline Conservation Federation

CITES, ESA and IUCN

    Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, CITES, does not use the word endangered. They use Appendix I, II, and II. Appendix I species are prohibited from international commercial trade, with a few exemptions. Appendix II species are allowed to be traded commercially with permits for tracking the amount of trade. Appendix III species also are allowed in trade with permits and usually have some sort of quota for each country. Bear in mind that CITES only applies for animals in INTERNATIONAL trade. CITES does not apply at all when the movement occurs entirely within one country. CITES is an international treaty.
   The Endangered Species Act, ESA, is the law within the USA and that uses the terms "endangered" and "threatened". The species listed on the ESA are determined entirely independently of those listed on CITES.
   CITES decides to list species by a vote of all member countries at their annual convention (COP). ESA listed species are determined by the USDI. These lists do not always agree with each other. The ESA lists the Barbary Serval, L. serval constantina, as endangered, while CITES does not have it under Appendix I, their most protected status. The geoffroy's cat is listed under CITES Appendix I, while the ESA does not have it listed as endangered. The ESA applies to both interstate and international trade. The international application only applies for animals coming into the USA, being exported from the USA, or when a US citizen is involved even if the animal never sees the USA.
   The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN, Red Book is probably the most accurate in determining the status of the species in the wild. Unfortunately, it is not used by any governmental agency or international treaty.  The Bay Cat has their highest designation of needing protection, while both the ESA and CITES do not. Bay Cat is CITES Appendix II, along with all other felids, and the ESA ignores this species completely.