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Wildlife Trade Specialists

Elephant Ivory products for sale © WWF / James Morgan

Moving targets

Elephant Ivory products for sale © WWF / James Morgan

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Published 3rd March 2015

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TRAFFIC’s e-commerce monitoring reveals shifting illegal wildlife trade market in China

Beijing, China, 3rd March 2015—Transactions for illegal wildlife products, particularly ivory, are shifting away from online retailers and onto social media platforms according to TRAFFIC’s research into the Chinese-language online retail community. 

Moving targets: Tracking online sales of illegal wildlife products in China

Report author(s):
Xiao Yu, Wang Jia

Publication date:
March 2015


Notes:

1. China has the world’s biggest online community with an estimated USD 274.6 billion spent in online trade in 2014.

2. The number of new illegal wildlife products observed by TRAFFIC online fell dramatically, as did the total number of such advertisements: In January 2012, TRAFFIC discovered almost 30,000 advertisements for five illegal wildlife products on 15 websites then surveyed. This rose to more than 50,000 in the next two months but dropped again in April 2012 to around 30,000 after TRAFFIC contacted and shared the monitoring results with website managers, several of whom immediately deleted the identified advertisements.

3. Download Moving targets: Tracking online sales of illegal wildlife products in China (PDF, 1 MB). 

4. TRAFFIC was founded in 1976 and is the leading non-governmental organization working globally on trade in wild animals and plants.

5. This project is implemented in co-operation with GIZ, on behalf of and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)


WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.