C.I.T.E.S. is the “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora”; an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Living pandas, elephant tusks and rare orchids are all under this shield with many more species. Widespread information nowadays about the endangered status of many prominent species, such as the tiger and elephants, might make the need for such a convention seem obvious. But at the time when the ideas for CITES were first formed, in the 1960s, international discussion of the regulation of wildlife trade for conservation purposes was something relatively new. Many years have passed and illegal trade goes on. Europe has a flourishing black market and sudden inspections of producers, traders and collectors increased. The list of protected species is regularly revised every few years and you can find the latest on the CITES page of your government.