Custom officials in Macao, China grew suspicious when they saw 15 boxes of unusually heavy chocolate in a set of luggage. After soaking in warm water, the chocolate melted away to reveal 583 elephant tusks.
Since the beginning of his career, Maharjan has always worked to stop wildlife crime. Today, he organizes anti-poaching surveillance missions using intelligence gathered from a wide network of local informants.
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.
As record numbers of rhinos are slaughtered for their horns, there is good news that poachers will be punished for their crimes. In the U.S., two businessmen will now serve time in prison and pay hefty fines for rhino horn trafficking.
An Indian rhino calf that lost its mother to poachers earlier this week is clinging to life with the help of conservationists, according to WWF staff assisting with its care. A team of frontline staff located the dehydrated and traumatized calf and brought the newborn to a safe location for urgent veterinary care.
The skin, bones, teeth, claws and skulls of more than 1,400 tigers were confiscated between 2000 and 2012, according to a new report. With wild tiger numbers at an all-time low, the report stresses the crisis of wildlife crime.
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra pledged to start a legislative process to end ivory trade in Thailand, seizing a key opportunity to stem global wildlife trafficking at the opening of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Bangkok.
WWF handed over a global petition with more than half a million initial signatures from around the world demanding an end to Thailand's ivory trade. The petition was delivered personally to Prime Minister Shinawatra today in Bangkok.
WWF has launched a global petition asking Thai Prime Minister to ban all ivory trade in Thailand in order to curb the illegal killing of African elephants. Thailand is the biggest unregulated ivory market in the world and a top driver of poaching and illegal trade.
A new report on the crisis of illegal wildlife trafficking details its unprecedented scale and global implications. Current global efforts to fight illegal wildlife trade are failing because wildlife crime is seen as an environmental problem first and then a criminal issue. At the same time, organized crime syndicates and rebel groups involved with wildlife crimes are increasing. Profits from wildlife trafficking could be used to purchase weapons, finance civil conflicts and underwrite terrorist-related activities.
WWF’s campaign to stop wildlife crime gained a powerful champion—U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. On November 8, the U.S. State Department held an unprecedented event on illegal wildlife trafficking and conservation. In her remarks, Secretary Clinton called for an end to illicit wildlife trafficking, which she emphasized as a major foreign policy and security issue.
Crawford Allan, Regional Director, TRAFFIC North America, has translated his passion for the natural world into a long and fulfilling career. While he has seen the impact of illegal killing of rare species first hand and uncovered illicit wildlife trade in blackmarkets in dozens of countries, he remains hopeful.
One of the world’s largest populations of tigers exists not in the wild—but in captivity in the United States. With an estimated 5,000 tigers, the U.S. captive tiger population exceeds the approximately 3,200 tigers in the wild. A year after the tragedy in Zanesville, Ohio, continued lax management of the captive tiger population means that thousands of these big cats are still found in backyards, urban apartments, sideshows, truck stops and private breeding facilities.
Indonesia is home to the only population of Javan rhinos left on the planet. Only about 40 of these rhinos exist there—making the Javan rhino one of the rarest mammals in the world. Because the Javan rhino population is so small and isolated, WWF and its partners are seeking wide agreement and political endorsement for a new, safe and healthy Javan rhino habitat.
On September 21, 2012, WWF and The Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) announced a first-ever partnership with faith leaders from across Africa to unite against the killing of endangered species caused by illegal wildlife trade.