Wildlife Trade Specialists

Grey Parrot Psittacus erithacus

trade monitoring our speciality which guides our interventions and recommendations

Grey Parrot Psittacus erithacus


at the heart of what we do

We were established as the "wildlife trade monitoring network". Although our expertise and objectives have expanded since then, wildlife trade monitoring is still at the heart of what we do.

"Evidence to Influence" is a core approach within our overall conservation strategy, ensuring that expert research and impartial analysis guide our policy decisions and recommendations. Our international team of conservationists collect and use the latest trade data to make keep our analysis parallel with evolving trade dynamics.

Thomasina Oldfield, Science, Research and Analysis Co-ordinator

Our scientifically rigorous approach to wildlife trade monitoring is what sets us apart, and gives us the influence we need to bring about lasting change

Thomasina Oldfield, Science, Research and Analysis Co-ordinator


Analysing dynamic wildlife trade trends cuts across much of our global work. Whether to follow evolving trade routes employed by smuggling networks or visualise the destination countries of particular commodities, map-based trade monitoring is an essential component to the research and analysis component of our work.

One of the primary tools we use to do this TradeMapper, a tool developed by TRAFFIC and WWF-UK for mapping wildlife trade data (such as CITES data, Customs, ETIS, etc.). It allows us to easily visualise and explore our data, as well as create animations of change over time or static maps for reports and presentations. Although it was developed with wildlife trade data in mind, it is suitable for any kind of flow data.

TradeMapper is a Javascript application using d3.js which runs in any browser, allowing users to import data from CSV files, view trade routes, filter by various columns, and zoom and pan around the resulting map.

TradeMapper has been designed to be simple to use, so users with no knowledge of complicated specialist mapping software can easily display their data. Within TRAFFIC it has been used to map trade in a range of species such as tiger and pangolin products, reptile skins and rhino horn. It is open source and available for use by anyone.


how we use our trade monitoring

trade analysis

Keeping abreast of the latest trade trends, fluctuations, dynamics and criminal activity is essential to protecting natural biodiversity.

Across the world our expert team evaluates the legal and illegal trade in wildlife across all taxa, ensuring that we have the latest data across as wide a field as possible. It is this analysis that forms the backbone of the action we are able to develop and promote across the globe.

Nile Crocodile Crocodilus niloticus © Martin Harvey / WWF


supporting implementation of CITES

One of the main reason behind TRAFFIC's formation was to support the implementation of CITES policy. 

Although the scope of our work has since expanded, we still work closely with CITES Management Authorities to ensure compliance, understanding, and successful implementation of CITES regulation. In some cases, such as with the Elephant Trade and Information System (ETIS), we have been directly mandated to monitor a particular wildlife trade.

guiding policy recommendations

Clear, accurate, and impartial data are the founding element to our Evidence to Influence conservation approach

In order to bring about lasting, transformative change and influence policy decisions that benefit wildlife and sustainable development, we rely on our trade monitoring to provide us with powerful, and reliable evidence.

related news and reports to our trade monitoring

the vast majority of our publications are associated with trade monitoring, below are the latest reports and the most recent news associated with our analysis of trade trends

latest reports from the field

explore our latest reports, studies and assessments of global wildlife trade, available to view online or download.

Visit our resource library for the full TRAFFIC publication archive.