A TRAFFIC report has exposed a disturbing new shift in the illegal trade of African rhino horn. Highly adaptive, transnational criminal networks operating in Southern Africa have begun processing rhino horn locally to evade detection by enforcement agencies and supply ready-made products to seemingly insatiable consumers in China and Vietnam.
Following China’s announcement late last year of a domestic ivory trade ban by the end of 2017, TRAFFIC and WWF surveys have found that the number of ivory items offered for sale—in both legal and illegal ivory markets in China—has declined alongside falling ivory prices.
A new trade study led by TRAFFIC, with support from WWF and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), has established a baseline for the status of the US elephant ivory market around the time that a series of changes to federal regulations were imposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The current elephant poaching crisis costs African countries around $25 million annually in lost tourism revenue, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications. Comparing this lost revenue with the cost of halting declines in elephant populations due to poaching, the study determines that investment in elephant conservation is economically favorable across the majority of African elephants’ range.
The Living Planet Report, produced every two years by WWF, is a comprehensive study of trends in global biodiversity and the health of the planet. By providing an overview of the state of the natural world, human impacts and potential solutions, it aims to support governments, communities, businesses and organizations to make informed decisions on using and protecting the planet’s resources.
Snow Leopard poaching and trafficking—referred to herein as Snow Leopard crime—is revisited 13 years after TRAFFIC's first report on the subject, Fading Footprints: The Killing and Trade of Snow Leopards. This report builds on a preliminary analysis published in May 2016. It addresses a major information gap concerning the linkage between retaliatory killing for livestock depredation and poaching for trade, and the scale at which both are taking place.
Asia's high mountains are the Earth's "Third Pole," an ice and snow-covered landscape that forms the headwaters of Asia's most economically and culturally important rivers. The Third Pole, home to the iconic and endangered snow leopard, is also highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. The WWF Conservation and Adaptation in Asia's High Mountain Landscapes and Communities Project is funded by USAID and aims to galvanize greater understanding and action at local, national, and regional levels to conserve the iconic snow leopard.
This rapid assessment by TRAFFIC of domestic ivory markets in the U.S. finds that state bans seem to be having an impact on reducing the open availability of elephant ivory in formerly significant urban markets.
WWF and TRAFFIC believe that an ivory trade ban in China is feasible and could be effective in contributing to a reduction in current threats to African elephants. Such an ambitious and achievable act could garner positive exposure for China's responsible action on a critical wildlife conservation issue and become a positive influence on other countries' efforts to tackle the illicit ivory trade.
Since CoP16, international momentum has been building against wildlife crime, with a raft of global declarations and commitments to tackle poaching and wildlife trafficking. This report outlines WWF's stance on African elephant issues at CoP17.
Since CoP16, international momentum has been building against wildlife crime, with a raft of global declarations and commitments to tackle poaching and wildlife trafficking. CoP17 represents an opportunity to put these commitments into action through strong measures on wildlife crime, corruption, demand reduction and compliance.
Extreme weather events are adding a new, ominous threat to the monarch butterflies’ key wintering habitat in Mexico, according to a report by the WWF-Telmex-Telcel Alliance, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas, and the Institute of Biology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
Monarch butterflies are highly sensitive to weather and climate, however, they also have a high capacity to adapt to longer term changes in climate. Explore this and other traits which make monarch butterflies vulnerable to climate change, as well as recommended climate-adaptive management strategies.
Polar bears rely almost entirely on the sea ice environment for traveling, hunting, mating and resting. Global warming and subsequent ice loss has been most pronounced in the Arctic, and this trend is projected to continue. Explore this and other traits which make polar bears vulnerable to climate change, as well as recommended climate-adaptive management strategies.
Hidden Himalayas: Asia’s Wonderland maps out new species found by scientists from various organizations including 133 plants, 39 invertebrates, 26 fish, 10 amphibians, one reptile, one bird and one mammal.
A new report by WWF-Hong Kong reveals seven fundamental weaknesses in the regulation of Hong Kong's legal ivory market, which facilitate illegal activities such as the smuggling of ivory from poached elephants in Africa and the laundering of illegal ivory with the city’s legal ivory stock.
Asian elephant habitat is threatened by invasive plants such as Lantana sp., which may further thrive under changing climatic conditions. Explore this and other traits which make Asian elephants vulnerable to climate change, as well as recommended climate-adaptive management strategies.
This study by TRAFFIC and WWF finds that while there is no evidence that international trade is currently a threat to the conservation of narwhals, improved monitoring of trade levels is increasingly important as climate change is likely to have a significant impact on narwhal populations.
This factsheet provides an overview of the Wildlife Crime Technology Project, which focuses on research, development and implementation of a suite of technologies to detect and deter poaching. This work was made possible through a Global Impact Award from Google in 2012.
Snow leopards might be resilient to many of the direct impacts of climate change, but face increasing pressure as humans and livestock shift their activities to higher elevations. Explore this and other traits which make snow leopards vulnerable to climate change, as well as recommended climate-adaptive management strategies.
Mountain gorillas live in a very restricted geographic range, and face pressure from surrounding human settlements who themselves are increasingly impacted by climate change. Explore this and other traits which make mountain gorillas vulnerable to climate change, as well as recommended climate-adaptive management strategies.
African elephants need up to 300 liters of water a day, just for drinking. Changing rainfall patterns in Africa and increased water scarcity pose a serious threat. Explore this and other traits which make African elephants vulnerable to climate change, as well as recommended climate-adaptive management strategies.