Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), international agreement that aims to ensure that trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. CITES covers more than 35,000 animal and plant species, including tigers, elephants, sea turtles, parrots, and manta rays, and such products as exotic leather goods, shark fins, rhinoceros horns, ivory, coral, and certain types of fur and timber. Resulting from a 1963 meeting of the World Conservation Union (now the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources), CITES was approved in 1973 at a meeting of 80 nations Washington, D.C., and went went into effect in 1975. It has since been ratified by 180 countries.