Species+/CITES Checklist API Documentation

Application Programming Interface (API) to support CITES Parties to increase the accuracy and efficiency of curating CITES species data for permitting purposes.

Getting Started

Signing up for API access

You can sign up for an API account here. Once you have signed up, visit Sign in to log in to the API Dashboard and retrieve your generated token.

Authenticating your requests

Your authentication token needs to be passed into every request you make via the HTTP header below:

X-Authentication-Token: 8QW6Qgh57sBG2k0gtt

Tokens can be manually regenerated from the API Dashboard

Tools for testing the API

There are a number of free tools available that allow you to test the API before you start integrating it in your systems. For example, curl is a popular command-line tool that could be used for this purpose:

curl -i "https://api.speciesplus.net/api/v1/taxon_concepts.xml?name=Mammalia" -H "X-Authentication-Token:YOUR_TOKEN_HERE"

Please note: we now support encrypted connections, please switch your integrations to use https://api.speciesplus.net.

There are also a number of tools that can be installed as an add-on to your browser; they can be found for example by searching for "rest client" in the add-ons repository for your browser.


All endpoint can return both JSON and XML data. The default is JSON, if you would like to receive XML data, you can add .xml to the endpoint as below:


Optional parameters

Whereas authentication is passed via a HTTP header, other parameters for refining your response data are provided via the query string. These are detailed below and where appropriate in the documentation for each endpoint. Parameters can be combined.

API Calls

CITES Legislation

HTTP Verb / Endpoint Description
[GET] api/v1/taxon_concepts/:taxon_concept_id/cites_legislation Lists current CITES appendix listings and reservations, CITES quotas, and CITES suspensions for a given taxon concept


HTTP Verb / Endpoint Description
[GET] api/v1/taxon_concepts/:taxon_concept_id/distributions Lists distributions for a given taxon concept

EU Legislation

HTTP Verb / Endpoint Description
[GET] api/v1/taxon_concepts/:taxon_concept_id/eu_legislation Lists current EU annex listings, SRG opinions, and EU suspensions for a given taxon concept


HTTP Verb / Endpoint Description
[GET] api/v1/taxon_concepts/:taxon_concept_id/references Lists references for a given taxon concept

Taxon Concepts

HTTP Verb / Endpoint Description
[GET] api/v1/taxon_concepts Lists taxon concepts