CITES Announces Smart Tool to Support the Tracking and Sustainable Use of Endangered Snakes

CITES27 November 2013: The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) met with European business entrepreneurs and wildlife experts to develop a new smartphone application that traces the origin of a wildlife product and helps ensure the sustainable use of many endangered species.

The application called 'ASKING,' the result of a collaboration between CITES and NEST'up, the start-up accelerator of the company Creative Wallonia, will be able to trace snakes and snake products to confirm their legal origin: from the moment a species is collected in the wild, for instance when a hunter takes a photo, to when a unique tracking number for that specimen is generated.

Improved tracing will help consumers to distinguish between legal and illegal products by creating a higher level of reliability and precision in the CITES permit system. The application will also support the work of customs authorities that will be better equipped to confirm legal shipments and identify fraudulent suppliers at borders.

John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES, highlighted partnerships such as this one and the recent launch of the Python Conservation Partnership as examples where innovation, collaboration and the engagement of the private sector help ensure the sustainable consumption of products made from species of wild fauna and flora. [CITES Press Release on ASKING] [CITES Press Release on Python Conservation Partnership]