Wildlife Trade Specialists

Indian Pangolin Manis crassicaudata © Gerald Cubitt

some recent achievements standing up for legal, sustainable wildlife trade since 1976

Indian Pangolin Manis crassicaudata © Gerald Cubitt


conservation and sustainability success stories

Since 1976 we have dedicated ourselves to monitoring wildlife trade and protecting natural biodiversity from unregulated and unsustainable practices.

TRAFFIC has had, and continues to have, a significant global impact on helping to promote sustainable wildlife trade to protect threatened species and benefit local communities. Explore our ongoing achievements timeline below for a view into the lasting interventions and solutions we have helped bring about.

Steven Broad, Executive Director

TRAFFIC has been making invaluable contributions to wildlife conservation for decades. Although there is still much to do, our past successes give us hope for the future.

Steven Broad, Executive Director

TRAFFIC's recent conservation achievement timeline

March 2018

TRAFFIC and partners WWF and IFAW launch the first ever Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online in response to mounting evidence showing that illegal trade is shifting from physical to online markets.

The coalition brings together over 20 tech giants including Tencent, Facebook and eBay who have committed to deterring illegal wildlife trade on their platforms. We are working towards an 80% reduction in illegal wildlife trade on these platforms by 2020.

January 2018

In a move with the potential to mark a turning point in the African Elephant poaching crisis, mainland China's domestic ivory ban comes into force. TRAFFIC examined the practicalities of implementing such a decision and provided technical support in its implementation. 

China is the world's largest consumer of elephant ivory. The closure of its domestic market, alongside essential follow-up actions, has the potential to have a significant conservation impact. We continue to monitor trade closely to ensure the ban translates into positive results for elephants.

January 2018

The Hong Kong Legislative Council votes overwhelmingly in favour of a bill that will end local ivory trade. In the run-up to the decision TRAFFIC had published a report, Closing Strategy, encouraging the Hong Kong SAR government to implement measures to tackle illegal ivory trade. TRAFFIC also participated in consultations encouraging a rapid phase-out of the domestic ivory market.

November 2017

Illegal fishing, unregulated trade and rampant over-exploitation of our oceans and fisheries is threatening species of sharks, rays, tuna and many more.

TRAFFIC, WWF and Hewlett Packard launch Detect IT: Fish, a free online tool, for Customs, conservationists and enforcement agencies to help identify illegal or unsustainable trade. It is already being used successfully by Customs agencies across the world, helping improve traceability in fish trade and work to protect threatened species.

October 2017

TRAFFIC is a partner in the FairWild Foundation which promotes the sustainable harvesting of wild plant resources according to the principles of the FairWild certification scheme. 

A major breakthrough for FairWild certification was achieved when TRAFFIC facilitated the process of recognition of FairWild as a "certifiable standard" by the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA).

Oct 2016 - CoP17

The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP) led to many positive developments for wildlife trade regulation in line with several of TRAFFIC's recommendations, including the inclusion of further marine and timber species within the CITES appendices.

✔ A TRAFFIC report, Reduced to Skin and Bones, highlights how tiger farms can stimulate consumer demand for and illegal trade in wild Tigers. During the meeting, Lao PDR announces it will phase-out its tiger farms.

✔ All eight species of pangolin are listed in Appendix I (banned from international trade) after mounting evidence of massive poaching and illegal trade.

October 2016

Timber is the most widely traded wildlife resource worldwide. However, in the absence of effective legislation and regulations, unsustainable overexploitation leading to widespread deforestation is a major threat, affecting the quality of live, local livelihoods and national economies, as well as biodiversity. 

TRAFFIC signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) to work towards sustainability in timber trade and protection for irreplaceable African rainforests.


In response to massive overexploitation of some wild songbird populations in Asia, TRAFFIC and partners convene the first ever Asian Songbird Crisis Summit to develop a conservation plan of action to help save species from extinction.

In September 2015, facilitated by TRAFFIC, WWF and SADC, the national forest agencies of Kenya, Tanzania, including Zanzibar, Uganda, Madagascar and Mozambique launch an historic declaration to improve management of timber trade.

Wildlife trafficking in passenger luggage by air is one the most common methods employed by smugglers.

TRAFFIC leads the Reducing Opportunities for the Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership to bring together aviation and transport logistics industry to help disrupt the routes used by organised criminal syndicates and detect illegal wildlife products in transit.


Shortly after world governments finalise the text of the Washington Convention, now better known as CITES, and it enters into force, TRAFFIC is created by IUCN as wildlife specialists to assist governments with implementation of the new Convention.