The 10 Most Wanted List

The 10 Most Wanted List

Nov 6, 2004

Notes from the Field: Issue 5

Lesser Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos Make The Infamous “Ten Most Wanted List”

by Stewart Metz

(modified from a story published in the Indonesian Nature Conservation NewsLetter)

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is considered the world’s most important wildlife agreement. It is the only global treaty that regulates trade in threatened and endangered animals and plants. As delegates form 166 countries head to Bangkok for the next CITES meeting (Oct 2- 14, 2004), the World Wildlife Fund released its biennial list of 10 of the world’s most in-demand species bought, sold, smuggled, killed or captured for the global marketplace.

This year’s ’10 most wanted species,’ based on threats from unsustainable trade and consumer demand, are (in no relevant order) :

  • Humphead Wrasse
  • Ramin

This tropical hardwood from Indonesia and Malaysia is used to make mass-produced pool cues, moldings, doors and picture frames, and is a major object of the illegal logging which destroys forest habitat.

  • Tigers
  • Great White Sharks
  • Irrawaddy Dolphins
  • Asian Elephants
  • Pig-Nosed Turtles
  • Leaf-tailed Geckos
  • Asian Yew Trees

And ……

  • Yellow-Crested Cockatoos (Cacatua sulphurea)

There are fewer than 10,000 (recent estimates suggests suggest perhaps about 5000) left in the wild. Indonesia is proposing an end to all international commercial trade at this CITES meeting.

Let’s hope that these precious birds can get off this List of Infamy in the near future!


Stewart Metz is the President of Project Bird Watch. He is a passionate advocate for the welfare of Indonesian cockatoos and parrots in the wild and in captivity and is an accomplished author in several different disciplines.

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