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The 13th conference of the UN Convention on Migratory Species (CMS COP13) on Thursday, February 20, 2020 determined that Asian elephants, jaguars, oceanic white-tip sharks and multiple kinds of birds should get more protection.

Silky sharks
A shark fish

The conference, held in Gandhinagar, India, said the animals should be added to the CMS’s Appendix I list of endangered species, which provides the strictest protections.

Considering rapidly dwindling animal populations, the representatives of more than 100 countries are calling for stronger protection of 10 species.

If the plenary approves the additions in a vote on Saturday as expected, CMS signatory countries must forbid the killing of the animals.

Several more species are expected to be added to the second-highest Appendix II list, which would require countries to cooperate more closely for the species’ protection.

Conservationists said humans are mostly responsible for the threatened existence of the animals on the CMS lists either from hunting or from destroying the natural habitats.

UN research estimates that a million species of animals and plants will become extinct in the coming decades.

International Fund for Animal Welfare expert Ralf Sonntag said Asian elephants are a target for hunters because of the ivory of their tusks.

It said Jaguars have lost about 40 per cent of their habitat in the past century and oceanic white-tip sharks, whose fins are a popular soup ingredient in Asia, have become one of the most endangered sharks because of overfishing.

Nearly 130 countries are represented at the Convention on Migratory Species, including most countries of Europe, South America and Africa. Notably not participating are the U.S., China and Russia.

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