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For Immediate Release
February 23, 2007

Contact:
Alice Stroud
+1 541 850 9868
(GMT - 8 hours)


ALGERIA URGES SWIFT ACTION TO SAVE NORTH AFRICAN GAZELLES
Upcoming Meeting Could Decide Fate of the Species

The Species Survival Network (SSN) today congratulated the Government of Algeria for its wise decision to submit four proposals to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to strengthen the international conservation of one deer and three gazelle species, mainly endemic to the North and Western African regions.

CITES Parties will decide the fate of these species at their meeting in The Hague, The Netherlands, 3-15 June. Alice Stroud, SSN Coordinator for the Francophone Africa Regional Bureau applauded Algeria for taking a stand “towards stronger conservation of these imperiled species.”

The Barbary Red Deer (Cervus elaphus barbarus), Cuvier’s Gazelle (Gazella cuvieri), Dorcas Gazelle (Gazella dorcas) and Slender-Horned Gazelle (Gazella leptoceros) face habitat loss and degradation, poaching, and smuggling of their parts. They will be considered for Appendix I of CITES, which includes “all species threatened with extinction which are or may be affected by trade”.

According to Ms. Stroud, “International trade for the horns, skins, meat and trophies from these animals have caused substantial population declines. Without immediate and decisive action, this region of the African continent may lose a valuable part of its natural heritage.”

If the Algerian proposal is approved, commercial trade in these species will be prohibited and international movement for noncommercial purposes will be authorized only in exceptional circumstances in order not to further endanger the survival of these species.

For more information contact:

Alice Stroud Coordinator, Francophone Africa Regional Bureau; Species Survival Network; 421 Jefferson St; Klamath Falls, OR 97601; USA Phone/Fax: +1 541 850 9868 (GMT - 8 hours) alicestroud@ssn.org

Editor’s Notes:

• All species proposed for CITES uplisting by the Algerian government are included in Appendix I of the Convention on Migratory Species, which lists species that have been categorized as being in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their range. They are also listed in CITES Appendix III in Tunisia (CITES Appendix III includes those species that a Party has identified as being subject to regulation within its jurisdiction and as needing the cooperation of other Parties to monitor international trade in the species).

• The three gazelle species proposed for uplisting are all listed as species facing a higher risk of global extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN): Cuvier’s Gazelle is categorized as endangered, Slender-Horned Gazelle is classified as endangered and decreasing, and Dorcas Gazelle is classified as vulnerable or decreasing.

• The Barbary Red Deer (Cervus elaphus barbarus) is heavily affected by habitat loss and degradation, smuggling and hunting (possibly both motivated by trade). The existence of a thriving trade in parts and products of Cervus elaphus for meat, antler velvet (used in Asia for traditional medicine) and trophy antlers may cause additional pressure on the species since the existing markets for Cervus elaphus could include smuggled parts and products of Cervus elaphus barbarus.

• The Algerian listing proposals can be downloaded on the CITES website at the following address http://cites.org/eng/cop/14/raw_props.shtml

• SSN is a coalition of approximately 80 organizations from all CITES regions who advocate the promotion, enhancement, and strict enforcement of the Convention.

 



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