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Illegal Wildlife Trade Stories

elephant in Selous

Collaring elephants in one of Africa's last great wildernesses

Thanks to satellite collars, 60 elephants will be monitored for better protection against poaching in one of the last great African wildernesses, Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve.

  • Five countries work toward a common goal in southern Africa

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2016
    Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA)
    Elephants walking in KAZA
  • Protecting pangolins from wildlife crime

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2016
    Pangolins defy the imagination—long, sleek, and covered head-to-toe in elegant scales. WWF Board Chair Neville Isdell and I revel in a shared quest to see a pangolin.
    Pangolin
  • Empty Quarter sand dunes, Saudi Arabia
  • Alarming rhino poaching rates reported in Southern Africa

    January 21, 2016

    South Africa announced its first decrease in rhino poaching since 2007, but an increase in the number of rhinos killed in neighboring countries offsets this slight improvement. The South African government confirmed 1,175 rhinos were lost in the country in 2015—slightly down from 1,215 in the previous year.

    black rhino and calf
  • Hong Kong steps up for elephants

    January 13, 2016

    In a landmark move for elephants, the government of Hong Kong is actively exploring phasing out domestic ivory trade. The government is also set to strengthen efforts to tackle the illegal ivory trade.

    elephants walking in a line
  • Sniffer dogs in Nepal
  • Thai Citizens Condemn the Illegal Ivory Trade

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2015
    How erasing a Thai letter from people’s names can help elephants
    Erased Chor Chang letter
  • Protecting the Sumatran Rhino

    September 21, 2015

    The plight of Sumatran rhinos needs global attention and commitments if conservation is to succeed. The science is telling us that we can’t put off mounting a serious, concerted effort to save Sumatran rhinos. We have pulled three species of rhino back from the brink so we know we can do the same for the Sumatran rhino.

    Sumatran Rhino
  • Thailand Destroys Ivory Stockpile

    August 25, 2015

    Over two tons of elephant tusks, carved ivory, and trinkets in Thailand—most of it from elephants poached a continent away in Africa—made its way into a machine that ground the ivory into chips. The solemn ceremony to destroy Thailand’s illegal ivory follows a number of important laws the country passed to crack down on the illegal ivory trade.

    prepping ivory to crush
  • An Amazing 103 Wild Tigers Counted in Bhutan

    July 29, 2015

    Bhutan is home to an amazing 103 wild tigers—an increase from a previous estimate of 75 that was not based on actual field surveys—according to the country’s first-ever tiger survey released on Global Tiger Day Conducted entirely by Bhutanese scientists, the survey spanned habitats ranging from snowy, cold mountains in the north—where both tigers and snow leopards roam wild—down to dense, subtropical forests in the south.

    Bengal tiger male walking beside lake in India
  • President Obama Announces Important Advance in Fight to Stop Wildlife Crime

    July 25, 2015

    New draft ivory regulations will significantly curtail the sale of commercial ivory in the United States and help stop wildlife crime worldwide. President Obama announced the long-awaited regulations—along with the formation of an ambitious new United States Wildlife Trafficking Alliance —on his first official trip to Kenya.

    African elephants
  • WWF’s Ginette Hemley Testifies Before US Senate on Global Poaching Crisis

    July 16, 2015

    Today at a hearing on wildlife poaching before the Senate Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, WWF’s senior vice president of wildlife conservation Ginette Hemley attested that wildlife crime is an urgent crisis that must and can be stopped.

    Ginette Hemley
  • Ivory Crush in New York City

    June 19, 2015

    An enormous machine roared to life pulverizing more than one ton of illegal elephant ivory tusks, trinkets and souvenirs in the heart of New York City today. The ivory crush in Times Square sent a dramatic message to the world that the United States will not tolerate ivory trafficking. 

    african elephant
  • The World's Elephants Can't Wait

    June 19, 2015

    The US government and the conservation community came together again to destroy a stockpile of confiscated ivory and to make a statement that the United States has zero tolerance for wildlife crime.

    ivory getting crushed
  • Crush and Burn: Destroying Illegal Ivory

    May 29, 2015

    Several countries, including China, have recently joined the US in publicly destroying their illegal ivory stockpiles—a powerful act demonstrating that a country will not tolerate wildlife crime. The act ensures that stockpiles of seized ivory will never again be sold and affirms that ivory is only of value if it remains on elephants as nature intended. And these burns and crushes also bring global attention to a problem threatening not only elephants and other wildlife, but also national development and regional stability.

    ivory burn in Gabon
  • Thailand Faces Sanctions If It Fails to Stop Ivory Trade

    March 19, 2015

    Thailand has until the end of March 2015 to take measures to shut down domestic trade in illegal elephant ivory or it will face trade sanctions under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), which met in Geneva last July.

    African elephants
  • Sniffer Dogs Join Fight Against Wildlife Crime

    March 19, 2015

    Since becoming a WWF global ambassador, Andy Murray has been particularly passionate about raising awareness for WWF’s initiative in Nepal that supports the training and use of sniffer dogs to help track down, apprehend and deter poachers in and around Chitwan National Park.

    Sniffer dogs Murray and Sears
  • Illegal Wildlife Traders in China Migrating to Social Media for Sales

    March 03, 2015

    Beyond bricks and mortar, illegal wildlife traders in China are increasingly using social media and code words to reach buyers.

    Ivory carving for sale Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
  • Rhino Poacher Arrested after Life on the Run

    February 26, 2015

    Rajkumar Praja, one of Nepal’s most wanted wildlife criminals, was arrested by an INTERPOL team in Malaysia and extradited to Nepal where he faces a lengthy spell in jail for rhino poaching and trafficking in rhino horns.

    Rajkumar Praja was the ringleader of a major rhino poaching network
  • Academy Award-Winning Actor Jared Leto Joins WWF as Global Ambassador

    February 11, 2015

    Academy Award-winning actor, musician and director Jared Leto will become a WWF Global Ambassador, focusing on the most urgent, pressing issues facing our planet.

    jared leto and rhino
  • How Nepal Got to Zero Poaching

    February 03, 2015

    In February 2015, Nepal will host the first symposium focused on getting to zero poaching. Delegates from more than 13 Asian countries representing conservation agencies, police and prosecution services will share best practices, tools and technologies that can be used to respond to the poaching crisis.

    antipoaching patrol
  • Human-Elephant Conflict in Zambia

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2015
    The work of wildlife officer Mable Shibata Sheba
    elephant in water
  • Make or Break Year Ahead for South Africa's Rhinos

    A total of 1,215 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa in 2014, according to South African officials. This is a staggering increase of 21 percent over the record 1,004 poached in 2013.

    black rhino and calf
  • By the Numbers: Rangers Combat Wildlife Crime

    December 09, 2014

    Take a look at the life of a ranger by the numbers and learn more about why these courageous men and women need and deserve our support.

    rangers_kui buri_thailand