In the process of selection of species for discussion in this section, only EU- and candidate country-reported direct imports from wild, ranched and ‘unknown’ sources, as well as trade reported without a source specified, were considered. Terms that cannot easily be related to numbers of individuals (e.g. feathers, hair, specimens) were not included within the selection process, with the exception of certain terms that were considered to be traded in sufficiently high quantities to merit further scrutiny. Conversion factors were applied to all data to make them comparable and more easily equated to numbers of individuals.
The criteria for selection of species showing noteworthy patterns of trade are summarised in the diagram below, followed by a detailed description of each criterion. Species were selected for discussion if they met at least one of the criteria.
Species qualified for selection on the basis of ‘high volume’ trade if imports during 2014 exceeded pre-determined thresholds based on taxa-wide assumptions of general reproductive biology.
High volume (Globally threatened)
The ‘high volume’ trade thresholds were adjusted for all species categorised as Critically Endangered (‘CR’), Endangered (‘EN’), Vulnerable (‘VU’) or Near Threatened (‘NT’) or Data Deficient (‘DD’) in the 2016 IUCN Red List of threatened species.
Species qualified for selection on the basis of a sharp increase in trade if the volume of importer-reported imports during 2014 was more than three times the average trade volume of the preceding five-year period (2009-2013). Species that, despite a sharp increase in trade, were still only traded in very low volumes in 2014 (less than 5% of the high volume thresholds, not taking into account threat status), were not selected on the basis of this criterion. Newly-listed species, or species newly named following a nomenclature change, that met this criterion artificially due to the absence of trade records in previous years were also excluded.