Wildlife Crime

Affected areas for the Elephant Affected areas for the Rhinoceros Affected areas for the Tiger Affected areas for the Snow Leopard Affected areas for the Moon Bear Affected areas for the Painted Dog Affected areas for Climate Change Affected areas for Pollution Affected areas for Habitat Loss Affected areas for Wildlife Crime

Wildlife Crime

Illegal wildlife and forest trade is worth at least £11.5billion a year and is the 4th largest international crime stream worldwide. It threatens many species with extinction, robs communities of their natural resources and destroys natural habitats.

Wildlife and forest crime flourishes because the profits are huge and the risk of being caught is low. It flourishes in countries which are politically unstable and has been linked to organised criminal gangs, terrorism, drugs, arms trade, human trafficking and money laundering.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) works with Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), NGOs and international lawyers to stamp out the illegal trade in endangerd species and protect biodiversity.  DSWF funding helps to equip the brave men and women in the field who selflessly work to bring poachers to justice, spending weeks at a time away from home and putting their lives at risk.

Wildlife Crime LOCATION

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It is estimated that more than 350 million wild animals and plants are bought and sold in the world every year. Some of this trade is legal but the illegal trade in endangered species is a serious threat to the biodiversity of our planet and has been linked to organised crime.

Wildlife trade is strictly controlled by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).  Set up in 1972, this agreement has been signed by more than 160 countries including the UK, and each one is responsible for implementing and enforcing trade controls to protect endangered species. The trade in wild animals and plants often takes place across borders, so CITES works hard to encourage cooperation between countries. 

Under CITES, species are given different levels of protection depending on how seriously they are threatened. Species listed in Appendix 1 are the most endangered and trading in these species usually carries severe penalties. In the UK this is five years in prison and/or a £5,000 fine.

In 2000, 7 rhino were illegally killed. In 2013, a staggering 1014 were poached in South Africa alone.

Wildlife Crime Facts

In 2013, the illegal trade was estimated to be worth £11.5billion!

Only 3,200 tigers remain in the wild. This amazing animal has been pushed to the brink of extinction by the illegal trade in tiger parts and derivatives which are often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) or acquired as a status symbol.

DSWF provides funding for undercover agents who are sent out into the field to investigate wildlife crime. They work closely with local authorities to bring criminals to justice.

DSWF funds training and equipping anti-poaching units which are engaged in the difficult and dangerous task of catching those involved in the illegal killing of wild animals. The large areas of often challenging terrain can make it very hard to patrol and apprehend poachers.

DSWF helps to fund an anti-poaching patrol boat and the first ever anti-poaching dog squad in Assam. Jorba, the Belgian shepherd dog, has already sniffed out many poachers, leading to their arrest. Both schemes are so successful that they will be expanded as soon as funds allow.

Sit back and watch

Video Updates

Watch this interview with two ex-poachers, featuring Aaranyak, an Indian NGO supported by DSWF

Stop Wildlife Crime

YOU can help us fight wildlife crime. Do not buy any products made from endangered species. Buy only wooden products made from sustainable timber sources.

Also, help to raise awareness of wildlife crime by entering our art and poetry competition.  Or why not adopt an endangered animal or hold a fundraising event to raise money and awareness about the illegal wildlife trade.

Education is the key to stamping out wildlife crime.

"If the buying stops, the killing can too"

Video © BBC Saving Planet Earth

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