The CMS Family covers a great diversity of migratory species. The Appendices of CMS include many mammals, including land mammals, marine mammals and bats; birds; fish; reptiles and one insect. Among the instruments, AEWA covers 255 species of birds that are ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle. EUROBATS covers 52 species of bat, the Sharks MOU seven species of shark and the IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU six species of marine turtle (as of June 2013).
Under CMS, those species threatened with extinction are listed in Appendix I, with relevant provisions outlined in Article III, paragraphs 4 and 5. Parties that are Range States to Appendix I species are obliged to afford them strict protection.
Further migratory species needing or significantly benefitting from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II. These species, either individually or by taxonomic group, are the basis for establishing instruments – regional or global – under CMS.
The CMS Conference of the Parties (COP) can decide to add (or remove) a species from the Appendices backed by reliable scientific evidence. Any Party can make such a proposal to the COP, which is adoptedif supported by two thirds of the Parties present and voting. The change takes effect after 90 days, unless a Party notifies the Depositary that it wishes to enter a reservation. AEWA has a similar provision, as does EUROBATS (although the changes take effect after 60 days rather than 90).
The Gorilla Agreement covers all species and sub-species of the genus Gorilla – current taxonomy recognizes two species (Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla beringei) both of which have two sub-species. Article 1.2 (a) of ASCOBANS defines “small cetaceans” as any species, subspecies or population of toothed whales Odonticeti, except the Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus.