Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Template letter to CITES signatories

Posted: 7 August 2019. Updated: 11 August 2019

Ahead of the CITES meeting on international wildlife trade (find out more here) we need you to call on your national authority to protect wildlife under threat.

We have provided the following letter for your use, which can be copied, and personalised as appropriate. Find details of your national authority here. In the US, please email the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Management Authority:

Thank you!

Subject line: Please vote to protect wildlife at upcoming CITES meeting


As a citizen concerned about the continuing threats to the survival of wildlife species around the world, I urge you to support proposals which provide greater protections for animals and oppose those which would reduce them. These include, but are not limited to, the following.


  • Proposal 5 to list giraffe on Appendix II. The giraffe population is suffering an ongoing decline, and 36-40% over three generations due to habitat loss and exploitation.
  • Proposal 12 to up list elephant populations of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe so that ALL elephants are in Appendix I. The African elephant is highly migratory with three-quarters living in populations that cross country borders. Given the ongoing threats the species face – populations have fallen by more than 50 per cent in the last 40 years, with poaching, habitat loss, and human conflict decimating numbers – split listing threatens efforts to protect the species.
  • Proposal 13 to list the Woolly mammoth in Appendix II. This would help prevent the “laundering” or mislabelling of elephant ivory as mammoth ivory, imports of which into Hong Kong have risen nearly fourfold since 2000.
  • Document 73 to amend a resolution to include measures on conservation of and trade in great apes. Thousands of great apes are killed each year to meet demand for pets, attractions, bushmeat and ceremonial body parts. This proposal will help combat the illegal trade in great apes, five species of which are critically endangered and two endangered.
  • Document 76.2 proposing a resolution on the conservation and trade in African lions. In recent decades, lions have become extinct in 12 sub-Saharan countries, and it is estimated that as few as 20,000 African lions could remain.
  • Document 77.1 for jaguar protection. This would include an assessment of the illegal trade and development of recommendations to tackle this. A recent rise in illegal trafficking and habitat pressure is threatening the survival of the jaguar.
  • Document 77.2 on conservation and control in the trade of jaguars. See above.


  • Proposal 10 to down list the elephant population in Zambia to Appendix II. Elephant numbers in the country have increased little, if at all, remaining small and continuing to meet criteria for Appendix I.
  • Proposal 11 to allow Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa international commercial trade in elephant parts and live animals. Legal ivory markets provide a cover for illegal trade and if this proposal succeeds it would severely undermine enforcement efforts and demand reduction campaigns, harming elephants. While southern Africa holds the largest elephant populations, there has been an increase in poaching in areas such as Kruger and Chobe National Parks.
  • Proposal 8 to remove existing Appendix II annotation for the Eswatini (Swaziland) population of southern white rhino and allow legal trade in horn and derivatives. The country’s population of southern white rhino is extremely small and continues to meet criteria for Appendix I.
  • Proposal 9 to down list population of southern white rhino in Namibia to Appendix II Namibia’s white rhino population remains small at around 1,000 individuals and separated into around 70 sub-populations continues to meet criteria for Appendix I.
  • Document 48 to increase export quota for black rhino hunting trophies in South Africa. Critically endangered, three sub-species of black rhino are found in South Africa, which remains in a poaching crisis; one is declining annually and the other two have very small populations of just 254 and 79 individuals each.

With your help, the outcomes from the CITES meeting can be positive for threatened wildlife.

Yours sincerely

© Animal Defenders International 2019