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Wildlife Trade Specialists

Kenyan Wildlife Service rangers are trained in new technology that involves taking air samples from unopened containers that allow specifically trained dogs and handlers to identify whether the container may hold illicit goods, including ivory and rhino horn © Juozas Cernius / WWF-UK

conservation technology finding innovative new ways to combat wildlife crime

Kenyan Wildlife Service rangers are trained in new technology that involves taking air samples from unopened containers that allow specifically trained dogs and handlers to identify whether the container may hold illicit goods, including ivory and rhino horn © Juozas Cernius / WWF-UK

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harnessing new advances in the fight for wildlife

The opportunities offered by advances in technology have fundamentally changed the way we live.

The same is true for the approaches taken by poachers and wildlife traffickers; who have taken advantage of online platforms and new tech to help them source, transport, and sell illicit wildlife products worldwide. To match this evolution in wildlife trafficking and trade we are working with partners to develop innovative tools and approaches to help enforcement counter illegal traders.

Nick Ahlers, Project Leader – Wildlife TRAPS

we're finding new ways to detect illegal wildlife trade and help enforcement agencies shut down international smuggling networks

Nick Ahlers, Project Leader – Wildlife TRAPS

how new tech is helping conservation

New digital platforms, communication avenues, and scientific advances have opened up new ways in which conservationists can track and combat wildlife crime.

With illegal wildlife trade increasingly shifting to online platforms, and traffickers finding new and complex ways to evade detection, embracing new technology is helping to support a global response to the threats posed by poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

Whether helping develop new tools to support law enforcement detect and prosecute wildlife criminals, or bringing together global tech giants to help stamp out illegal online wildlife trade, we're harnessing the power of new technology for the benefit of people and wildlife.

a selection of projects using and developing new conservation technologies

Wildlife Forensic Science

Wildlife forensics provides scientific evidence to inform investigations into crimes against wildlife, focusing on determining the identity of poached or illegally traded wildlife products, and addressing questions relating to the species, and geographic origin of samples.

We work with partners to increase the capacity of countries to conduct forensic analysis and ensure samples aid in the detection and prosecution of wildlife crimes.

more about wildlife forensics

Global Coalition against Wildlife Trafficking Online

The growing threats from illegal online activity requires a response to match.

TRAFFIC, with our partners WWF, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), has brought together a partnership between leading tech companies from across the world to spearhead an industry-wide commitment to reduce wildlife trafficking online by 80% by 2020.

more about the coalition

Wildlife Sniffer Dogs

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.

more about wildlife sniffer dogs

Combating Wildlife Crime in Namibia and Kavango Zambezi Area

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).

more about CWCP

Global Shark and Ray Initiative

The Global Shark and Ray Initiative (GSRI) is working to halt the alarming decline of shark and ray species and bring about international commitments for sustainable trade.

The collaborative project is helping to develop new models to sustainably manage the world's fisheries, as well as building a traceability system to allow Customs authorities to verify the legality of shark and ray species in trade.

more about the GSRI

other areas of our work