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International Bird Relocation: Everything You Need to Know About USFWS & CITES

Transporting a bird internationally requires careful planning and adherence to specific regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of your feathered friend. Pet relocation for cats and dogs is generally straightforward, while bird relocation often demands meticulous and comprehensive planning.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) often gets involved in the international shipping of birds due to its role in regulating the import and export of wildlife, including avian species. Understanding who they are and what their role is in your relocation will help you plan accordingly. The USFWS will issue permits for the import or export of certain bird species. They also ensure that all required documentation, such as import permits, is in order and that shipments adhere to established regulations.

USFWS oversee the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in the United States. Many bird species are listed under CITES, and the USFWS helps ensure that the trade in these species complies with CITES regulations.

Understanding CITES

CITES classifies species into different appendices based on their conservation status and the level of protection they require. Here’s an overview of the differences between the three CITES appendices:

  1. Appendix I:
    • Species in this appendix are considered the most endangered or threatened with extinction.
    • International commercial trade in species listed under Appendix I is prohibited, with very limited exceptions.
    • Permits for trade in these species are granted only in exceptional circumstances, such as for scientific research or captive breeding programs.
  2. Appendix II:
    • Species listed under Appendix II are not necessarily as critically endangered as those in Appendix I, but they may become so without trade regulation.
    • International trade in Appendix II species is allowed, but it is subject to strict regulations and permits.
    • These regulations are aimed at ensuring that trade is sustainable and does not pose a threat to the species’ survival.
  3. Appendix III:
    • This appendix includes species that are subject to regulations by individual countries.
    • A country that includes a species in its national legislation and requests the cooperation of other CITES member countries to control its international trade places that species in Appendix III.
    • Trade in species listed in Appendix III is regulated only with respect to the specific country requesting the regulation.

In summary, the primary difference between the CITES appendices is the level of protection and trade restrictions they offer to listed species. Appendix I provides the highest level of protection, with trade generally prohibited. Appendix II allows regulated trade to ensure sustainability, while Appendix III is a specific country’s request for trade controls of a particular species.

At World Pet Travel, we have in-depth knowledge of the USFWS procedures and a clear understanding of which bird species fall under CITES regulations. You can trust us to ensure the safe and secure international shipping of your beloved feathered companions.

Relocating birds overseas? Let us know how we can help you!


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