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Wildlife Trade Specialists

Pangolin scales seized by Malaysia Customs. Pangolins are the world's most trafficked mammal, a million have been poached in the last decade to satisfy Asian demand for their products © TRAFFIC

illegal wildlife trade enhancing responses to wildlife crime and illegal trade

Pangolin scales seized by Malaysia Customs. Pangolins are the world's most trafficked mammal, a million have been poached in the last decade to satisfy Asian demand for their products © TRAFFIC

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the conservation crisis of our time

Illegal wildlife trade is devastating wildlife species the world over, as poachers, traffickers and highly-organised criminal syndicates ruthlessly pursue profit at any cost to meet consumer demand. 

The trafficking and unsustainable trade in wildlife commodities such as elephant ivory, rhino horn, pangolin scales, tiger bone, bear bile, and rosewood are causing unprecedented declines in some of the world's most charismatic, as well as some lesser-known, wildlife species. We're on the frontline working to ensure that illegal wildlife trade is identified, prevented, and prosecuted at every opportunity. 

USD8–21 billion

UN estimate of annual value of illegal wildlife trade

our illegal wildlife trade

Penny Wallace, Programme Officer for Wildlife Crime

Understanding how poachers, traffickers and organised criminals operate is the only way we can hope to disrupt extremely complicated wildlife smuggling networks

Penny Wallace, Programme Officer for Wildlife Crime

We work to tackle wildlife crime and illegal wildlife along the entire trade chain – from source to destination.

We work with enforcement agencies along supply chains to ensure they are equipped to detect, identify and prevent illegal trade. Below are some key actions we take to work towards a sustained reduction in poaching and illicit wildlife trade.

find out more about our

conservation strategy

a selection of species threatened by illegal trade

news and materials on illegal wildlife trade

Much of our work combating illegal trade is aimed at supporting governments and enforcement agencies to detect and prevent it. Explore some recent materials and news below.

Latest reports related to ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE

TRAFFIC routinely monitors and analyses illegal trade, so the vast majority of our reports concern wildlife crime by proxy. Here are some recent examples specifically relevant to wildlife crime and poaching.

Visit our resource library for the full TRAFFIC publication archive.

achieving positive change

A major increase in awareness, political will, and ultimately action on the ground is needed to help ensure the future of species and products at risk through mismanagement and unsustainable harvesting.

2017–2020 strategy