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Monday
Feb052018

TRAFFIC mourns Esmond Bradley Martin: a leader in global conservation

(l to r): Dan Stiles, Tom Milliken and Esmond Bradley Martin, photographed at CITES CoP17 in South Africa, 2016Cambridge, UK, 5 February 2018—TRAFFIC was shocked to learn of the death yesterday of Esmond Bradley Martin, one of the world’s leading investigators into the global illegal ivory and rhino horn trade. Our thoughts are with his wife Chryssee and his many friends and colleagues.

Mr Martin was a long-term collaborator with TRAFFIC. Among his numerous articles published both in the TRAFFIC Bulletin and as full TRAFFIC reports over a period spanning four decades were studies highlighting the scale of ivory trade in Egypt and in East Asia.

His undercover work took him across Africa and Asia, often working in difficult and dangerous locations, posing as a buyer of ivory and rhino horn. He had recently returned from Myanmar and was in the process of writing up his findings when he was killed at his home during what police have suggested may have been a botched robbery.

Tom Milliken, TRAFFIC’s Elephant and Rhino Programme Leader knew Mr Martin well and had corresponded with him since the late 1970s, although they first met in Tokyo, Japan, in 1982. He said:

“Esmond was the individual who invented modern market monitoring for ivory and rhino horn and he blazed an unparalleled trail around the world, endlessly documenting the scale and scope of the ugly trades that continue to push the world's iconic pachyderms to the brink.

“The world has lost a true legend, an inimitable inspiration that never gave up, who never stopped doing what he loved most. Just ten days ago we spoke on the phone about his last ivory trade survey in Myanmar. Esmond, an irreplaceable friend, has been cruelly taken from us.”

Tom Milliken's moving tribute to Esmond.

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