Skip to main content
You are here
Facebook icon
Pinterest icon
Twitter icon

CITES Checklists and User Guides

Production of checklists and user guides for the major Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) listed plant groups.
CITES Orchid Checklist 5 on Bulbophyllum

As Nomenclature Representative of the CITES Plants Committee, Noel McGough co-ordinates the CITES nomenclature flora programme and reports on its progress to meetings of the CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP). Dr Ute Grimm of Germany co-ordinates the CITES nomenclature programme for fauna.

An important element of this programme is the production of checklists to ensure CITES Parties have a standard nomenclature to be used on CITES permits, in databases and in their annual reports. CAPS has co-ordinated, produced and published a range of these checklists in co-operation with the CITES Plants Committee. The CITES Conference of the Parties decides on the plant groups to be included in the checklist. The Kew based checklists are compiled by bringing the available published and databased information (from, for example, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families) together in a CITES checklist database. Subsets of these data are then distributed to a panel of international experts and by a process of review a draft final text is produced. This text is then subject to review by selected regional representatives from the Plants Committee and final editing is carried out by at least two external reviewers who were not included in the earlier process. The Checklist is then made available on the CITES website for review by the Parties prior to being formally submitted to the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties to be approved as a CITES Standard Reference. Following formal adoption the Checklist is then published as adopted by the CITES CoP. The extensive review process is required to ensure that the checklist produced will be adopted by the Conference of the Parties. The team also links with other institutions to produce checklists as in the case of the CITES Orchid Checklist Volume 5 Bulbophyllum, where we worked with Vienna Botanic garden and the University of Vienna.

To date, CAPS has co-ordinated, produced and published nine CITES Checklists. The majority of funding has come from the CITES budget on contract with the CITES Secretariat. However, cutbacks in the general CITES budget have resulted in the elimination of the nomenclature budget line and funding must now come from the general budget line which covers general support for scientific authorities. Funds are now extremely restricted for nomenclature work. Other funding sources are now being sought. The Government of Austria funded the most recent orchid checklist – Volume 5 - Bulbophyllum.

Documents available to download

User guides

CITES and Plants - User Guide (English)

CITES and Plants - User Guide (French)

Key papers published since 2006

  • McGough, H. N. (2006). Legislation: a key user of taxonomy for plant conservation and sustainable use. In: Taxonomy and Plant Conservation ed. S. Jury, & E. Leadlay, pp. 255-265. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Smith, M. J., Brodie, C., Kowalczyk, J. Michnowicz, S., McGough, H.N. & Roberts, J. A. (2006). CITES Orchid Checklist, 4. Pp.180. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.
  • Sieder, A., Rainer, H., Kiehn, M. (compilers) (2009). CITES Orchid Checklist Volume 5. Bell, A., Brodie, C. & Simpson, R. (eds). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Project partners and collaborators


CITES Management Authority
University of Vienna
Vienna Botanic Garden


CITES Scientific Authority of Germany

South Africa

National Biodiversity Institute

The Netherlands

Leiden Herbarium


P. Cribb, orchid expert


CITES Secretariat
Members of the CITES Plants Committee

Project funders


CITES, CITES National Authorities


CITES Management Authority