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Elephant tusks and ivory products and trinkets go up in flames during the burning of Gabon's illegal ivory

Stop Wildlife Crime: It's Dead Serious

In more than 50 years of conservation, we have never seen wildlife crime on such a scale. Wildlife crime is now the most urgent threat to three of the world's best-loved species — elephants, rhinos and tigers.

  • Episode 1 in WWF's Stop Wildlife Crime: The Series - Experts in government, security, and conservation discuss how dangerous wildlife crime is and why it threatens not only animals, but our own global security.

  • Episode 2 in WWF's Stop Wildlife Crime: The Series - Asian and African elephants are being slaughtered to meet consumer demand. In almost all cases of elephant poaching, the elephant is shot and has its ivory tusks hacked out with machetes or a chain saw.

    Warning: Contains Graphic Images

  • Episode 3 in WWF's Stop Wildlife Crime: The Series - Tigers. Populations have declined drastically as high demand for tiger parts and products continues to drive the poaching crisis.

    Warning: Contains Graphic Images

  • Episode 4 in WWF's Stop Wildlife Crime: The Series - Rhinos. With rhino poaching rising drastically, experts debunk the myths about "medicinal" uses of rhino horn and talk about how to better protect rhinos.

    Warning: Contains Graphic Images

  • Episode 5 in WWF's Stop Wildlife Crime: The Series - Rangers. The fifth (and final) episode of WWF's Stop Wildlife Crime series highlights the deadly impact on rangers. Every four days, a wildlife ranger is killed in the line of duty.

    Warning: Contains Graphic Images

  • Over 300 elephants were killed between January and March 2012 when heavily-armed foreign poachers invaded Cameroon's Bouba N'Djida National Park. Entire elephant populations could be wiped out from Central Africa if ivory poaching and wildlife trade continue unabated. Tens of thousands of elephants are killed each year for their tusks which are in high demand in Asian black markets.

    Warning: Contains Graphic Images

  • TRAFFIC's global elephant and rhino programme leader, Tom Milliken, talks about The South Africa-Viet Nam Rhino Horn Trade Nexus, a comprehensive report into the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa.

    Surging demand for rhino horn in Viet Nam and the involvement of sophisticated criminal networks has contributed to a dramatic escalation in rhino poaching in southern Africa.

  • In this video, filmmaker Peck Euwer and conservationist Singer Rankin of present a close-up of the African elephant poaching crisis, sharing experiences from researchers and local communities as demand for illegal ivory continues to escalate. WWF experts are featured as part of the international response to stop wildlife crime.

    Warning: Contains Graphic Images

Illegal wildlife trade has exploded to meet increasing demand for elephant ivory, rhino horns, and tiger products, particularly in Asia. Controlled by dangerous crime syndicates, wildlife is trafficked much like drugs or weapons. Wildlife criminals often operate with impunity, making the trade a low-risk/high-profit business. Today, it is the fifth most profitable illicit trade in the world, estimated at up to $10 billion annually.

WWF is leading a global campaign to stop wildlife crime.

We are applying the strength of our worldwide network, our influence with partners and governments, and the passion of our supporters to a crisis that is threatening to undo years of conservation progress. The past year has already yielded some big wins like Thailand’s ban on their ivory trade and support from champions such as U.S. President Barack Obama. Join our campaign and help us:

  • Push governments to protect threatened animal populations by increasing law enforcement, imposing strict deterrents, reducing demand for endangered species products and honoring international commitments made under CITES.

  • Speak up on behalf of those on the frontlines being threatened by armed poachers so they are properly equipped, trained and compensated.

  • Reduce demand for illegal wildlife parts and products by encouraging others to ask questions and get the facts before buying any wildlife or plant product.

    You can make a difference h
    Tell the US government to stand by its commitment to stop commercial ivory trade

  • I am not a rug

    Every part of the tiger—from whisker to tail—is traded in illegal wildlife markets. Poaching is the most immediate threat to wild tigers. In relentless demand, their parts are used for traditional medicine, folk remedies, and increasingly as a status symbol in some Asian cultures.

  • African Elephant

    I am not a trinket

    Tens of thousands of elephants are killed every year for their ivory tusks. In 1989, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) banned the international trade in ivory. However, there are still some thriving but unregulated domestic ivory markets in a number of countries, which fuel an illegal international trade.

  • Rhinos touching horns

    I am not medicine

    At least two rhinos are killed every day due to the mistaken belief that rhino horn can cure diseases. The main market is now in Vietnam where there is a newly emerged belief that rhino horn cures cancer. Rhino horn is also used in other traditional Asian medicine to treat a variety of ailments including fever and various blood disorders and even as a treatment for hangovers.

  • Ranger and helicopter

    On the frontlines

    Rangers and local communities are often caught in the crossfire of wildlife crime. Rangers like Mba Ndong Marious in Gabon have to face dangerous gangs of armed poachers to save their elephants.

  • engal tiger crossing road in front of watching tourists

    Worth more alive than dead

    Charismatic species like tigers are a huge tourist draw and are an important source of revenue in many countries.

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Back a Ranger

They serve under various titles—rangers, forest guards, eco guard and field enforcement officers—but these men and women on the frontlines of conservation are perhaps the most important protectors of the world’s natural and cultural treasures.

Ranger on bike © WWF / FIDELIS PEGUE MANGA/span>

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