Papilio phorbanta, also known as the Small Réunion Swallowtail, has been proposed for inclusion on the CITES Appendix III species listings.
The listing, if successful, will come into force on 21 May 2023 and require imports and exports of Papilio phorbanta to have CITES documentation.
Papilio phorbanta is now endemic to Réunion Island, a French Overseas Department in the Indian Ocean, having been extinct in the Seychelles since 1890. The species is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red Data Book but, despite being protected under law in Réunion since 1979, it is still heavily threatened by habitat loss due to human encroachment, and removal of its food plants. Réunion also suffered a Chikungunya epidemic in 2005-2006 and the resulting mass use of insecticides potentially impacted the species further.
Mark Collins, Swallowtail and Birdwing Butterfly Trust chair said: “Listing under CITES Appendix III is a positive step forward in protecting this Vulnerable species of swallowtail. Alongside conservation efforts on the ground, preventing illegal or unsustainable trade could provide new hope for preventing further decline.”
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