As director of TRAFFIC North America, a regional office of the world's largest international wildlife trade monitoring program (run jointly by WWF and the World Conservation Union (IUCN)), Crawford works to combat the illegal trade in wildlife and minimize negative impacts from legal trade. "Much of the role is really about building networks, ranging from law enforcement agencies and informers to state officials" says Crawford. He lobbies governments to strengthen their commitments to international wildlife treaties, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Born and raised in the United Kingdom, he has been a committed conservationist for as long as he can remember. "My mom will tell you that as a child I checked out every library book on natural history week after week and read them again and again," he says.
With more than fifteen years of experience, his biggest project to date is supporting the establishment of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network in Southeast Asia, where Crawford says, "a taste for the exotics means endangered species are being depleted at an alarming rate...huge amounts of wildlife are being consumed every week."
“Wildlife trade is big business...it needs big innovative solutions to make sure that it does not threaten species and undermine the livelihoods of the poorest communities.”
An eye in the sky that can help catch wildlife poachers is the dream of many conservationists in Africa. That dream is closer to becoming a reality thanks to rapid advances in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), or drone, technology.