Adult male tiger resting in the wild

New CatByte data project aims to strengthen responses to big cat poaching and trafficking

In 2023, EIA and data specialist Go Insight identified a major gap in the analysis of big cat crime trends and the convergence in the supply chain of Asian big cats with other big cats including lions, cheetahs and jaguars.

Through engagement with EIA and Go Insight’s networks, it became clear that there was a great appetite for an aggregated analysis relating to the poaching, trade and trafficking of big cats and the similarities and differences in trade dynamics across those species.

Plans developed quickly and in late 2023 we were thrilled to receive seed funding from The Ho Family Foundation to create a big cat data centre called CatByte.

Prototype of the CatByte site


CatByte will become an independent centralised resourse, housed with and managed by Go Insight, which draws on seizure which draws on seizure, legal trade and legal and illegal trade observation data, as well as contextual information on prices, trader perceptions of consumer preferences and demographics, policy and enforcement interventions and corruption.

The data will be compiled, transformed and visualised in a way that will enable the observation of four key lenses: sourcing, trafficking, species and criminal profiling.

The goal of CatByte is to drive and inform a dedicated network of stakeholders including governments, inter-governmental organisations and NGOs so as to strengthen their response to big cat trafficking through a data-driven approach.

Collaboration and flexibility will be at the core of CatByte to strengthen partnerships, ensure that the analytical insights remain relevant and timely and to add value for all stakeholders.