The Illegal Wildlife Trade

The Illegal Wildlife Trade is a multi-billion dollar business. In terms of profit it sits fourth after the trafficking of drugs, arms and people. It is perpetuated by large and powerful syndicates around the world. It exploits local people,  and through the unsustainable trade in wildlife commodities including elephant ivory, rhino horn, pangolin scales, tiger bone and bear bile,  it is pushing dozens of species to the brink of extinction.

The Illegal Wildlife Trade refers to the unlawful harvest and trade in live animals and plants,  or parts and products derived from them.

Pangolins are the most-trafficked animal in the world with one taken from the wild on average every 7 minutes. Of the eight species of pangolin, two are now listed as Critically Endangered. An estimated one million pangolins have been poached in the last decade for their scales which are seen as a symbol of wealth and success.

Both species of Africa rhino (Black and White) are threatened by poaching of their horn which is made of keratin.

African elephants have been decimated by poaching. Their ivory tusks are targeted. The larger Savannah elephant has declined by at least 60% over 50 years while the Forest elephant has seen a crash of 86% in 31 years according to the IUCN.

Much of our efforts are concentrated on supporting teams of rangers and local communities in anti-poaching activities, as well as raising awareness about the trade.


To find out more about just some of the projects we’ve supported where the illegal wildlife trade is a significant threat, please click on an image below.