Protecting the environment with intelligence

Illegal Wildlife Trade

Illegal Wildlife TradeThe high profits and low risks associated with illegal wildlife trade threaten to wipe out many of the planet’s endangered species.

Tigers, snow leopards, leopards, elephants, rhinos, birds, bears, pangolins, gorillas and turtles are a handful of species subjected to high levels of poaching and trafficking to satisfy demand for use in traditional Chinese medicine, as luxury trinkets, home décor, charms, bushmeat and exotic pets. Unchecked demand for whales, dolphins and sharks threatens the stability of our marine ecosystems, while the targeting of bluefin tuna and other commercial fish species threatens global food security.

The need to investigate and expose those responsible for driving the slaughter was the primary reason EIA was established in 1984, and continues to be a core element of our work today.

By getting under the surface to understand the ‘who, what, why, where and when’ of the trade, we have been able to inform and shape more effective national and international enforcement strategies to combat it, laying accountability at the door of consumers and governments which have failed to act.

Several United Nations bodies have recognised wildlife crime as a serious form of organised crime requiring a sophisticated and coordinated response, one aspect of which has been the creation of the International Consortium for Combating Wildlife Crime.