Species orientated legal measures

Species conservation laws have been adopted by many countries in recent decades. These laws often contain long lists of protected species, including plants. Where they apply to non-game species, they can be difficult to enforce, especially for lesser-known species that may be difficult to identify except by a small number of specialists. They are, moreover, usually limited to taking and trade prohibitions, although a few go further.

While species-based laws have had clear successes, they also have shortcomings. Laws that depend on substantial scientific proof of endangered conservation status and a concentration of financial resources on the recovery of a small number of species may not be suitable in many countries where both information and financial resources are limited. Unilateral actions to protect migratory species can also be ineffective when other countries fail to protect those species when they are within their jurisdiction, a problem that led to the Convention on Migratory Species.