A CITES CoP19 committee has agreed by consensus to provide international commercial trade protections for all glass frogs, the family Centrolenidae, by listing them in in Appendix II. Final adoption in CITES Plenary is expected by end of week.

The Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Gabon, Guinea, Niger, Panamá, Perú, Togo, and the USA led on this proposal to secure international commercial trade regulations for frogs of the family Centrolenidae at the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP19) taking place now in Panama from November 14-25. This proposal places 160 species of glass frogs on CITES Appendix II, which would allow international commercial trade only if proven sustainable and legal. This inclusion on CITES Appendix II will help ensure exports are legal and sustainable and will stimulate improved management.

Glass frogs, many which do not grow more than an inch, live in trees in South and Central America near streams and creeks. They are prized by the pet trade because of their beautiful lime green color and many are also transparent and translucent.

Said Susan Lieberman, WCS Vice President of International Policy: “The glass frog species are increasingly exploited, often illegally, for the pet and collectors’ trades, mostly to Europe and the USA. The CITES listing of glass frogs on Appendix II is a big win for these tiny frogs.”

“The great difficulty in distinguishing between different species and genera of the family Centrolenidae provides an opportunity for exploitation and laundering by those who desire to trade in rare or endangered species of glass frogs.

“It is vital to list all species in this family which will help reduce pressure on wild populations that are already threatened by habitat fragmentation, climate change, and disease.”