Wildlife traffickers and poachers use a complex and ever-changing combination of smuggling routes and concealment methods to evade detection by enforcement agencies.
We work closely with national and international law enforcement to support them in their fight against ruthless international criminal syndicates and to help fight back for wildlife species under threat or facing collapse.
The techniques used by poachers and smugglers to evade detection varies by the target species, the product itself, and the countries involved in the trafficking chain.
Although there are occasions when different wildlife products are trafficked together, the methods used to smuggle ivory or pangolin scales for example are often very different to those used to source and traffic illegal timber or South African Abalone.
Identifying the means to deter. detect, and successfully prosecute wildlife crime requires different enforcement approaches in source, transit, and destination countries; all of which will vary depending on the specifics involved. We work across projects and countries to support law enforcement implement innovative new approaches to cracking down on wildlife traffickers across illicit trade chains.
law enforcement are on the frontline of the fight against wildlife crime – we're helping to equip them with the latest wildlife trade insights and conservation technologiesCamilla Floros, Project Leader – ReTTA
Reducing Trade Threats to Africa's wild species and ecosystems (ReTTA), works to identify trends in illegal or unsustainable trade and help develop national and international solutions that could turn the tide for wildlife.
The project covers both legal and illegal trade, assisting enforcement agencies and governments with the latest wildlife trade trends and modus operandi of international criminal syndicates operating in African countries.
In 2020, the Wildlife TRAPS Project - a long-running partnership funded by USAID and implemented by TRAFFIC in collaboration with IUCN – shifted direction while continuing to pursue innovation and non-traditional partnerships to reduce illegal, unsustainable, and unsafe wildlife trade.
In this new phase, Wildlife TRAPS is building on strong collaborations already developed with key actors in the transport, finance, wildlife forensics, and behavioural change sectors to inform a more singular focus on reducing potential zoonotic disease risks associated with trade in wild animals.
The Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade (RAFT) project is a collaborative approach towards sustainable forest management and timber trade.
RAFT is a partnership of seven leading organisations, working together to build the capacity of countries, enforcement agencies, businesses, and communities in Asia Pacific to practice legal and sustainable forest management and trade, and counter the devastating effects of illegal logging and timber laundering.
The African and European Union Trade in Wildlife Information eXchange's (Africa-TWIX and EU-TWIX) are online tools developed to facilitate information exchange and international co-operation between law enforcement agencies.
They connect hundreds of enforcement officials from European and African countries to enable the rapid exchange of information relating to wildlife seizures and crimes, as well as providing reference and identification guides for various wildlife species.
The Combating Wildlife Crime in Namibia and Kavango Zambezi Area Project (CWCP) seeks to counter growing threats from transnational wildlife crime.
The project is specifically working to protect globally important populations of rhino and elephant found in northwest Namibia and project sites in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA). We're strengthening law enforcement capacity through training and enhanced information sharing, as well as increasing surveillance and anti-poaching efforts.
Wildlife detector dogs are proving invaluable in the fight against wildlife crime, and are used in a variety of ways, from anti-poaching units helping rangers in National Parks in Africa, to tracking wildlife contraband in airports.
For example, detecting hidden ivory among millions of sea containers is like finding a needle in a haystack. We have successfully tested the use of vacuum pump technology that collects vapour traces from containers, sample of which are then taken to trained dogs to determine if contraband is present.
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