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Illegal Wildlife Trade Stories

Adult tiger captured on a camera trap.

Camera traps in Thailand reveal new tigers

Camera traps in Thailand's Mae Wong and Klong Lan National Parks reveal 16 new tigers— 6 cubs and 10 adults. 

  • Supporters help WWF launch emergency plan to stop Myanmar’s elephant poaching crisis

    August 10, 2017

    Amid a dire poaching crisis, wild Asian elephants in Myanmar received swift and essential aid from thousands of WWF supporters committed to protecting this iconic species. More than 3,000 people donated $263,211 in less than four weeks to fund an emergency action plan to train rangers and get boots on the ground to fight wildlife crime.

    Tusked elephant
  • Amazing image of wild tiger in Bhutan

    July 28, 2017

    Filmmaker and photojournalist Emmanuel Rondeau spent four weeks in the wildlife corridors of Bhutan with a camera trap poised to capture the elusive tiger. After weeks of waiting, a tiger appeared on the final day of the expedition. The result? The first high-resolution camera trap image of a wild tiger in Bhutan captured above 11,000 feet.

    A tiger walking in Bhutan.
  • Meet Singye Wangmo, tiger protector

    July 27, 2017

    Singye Wangmo exudes a natural passion for wildlife. One of the few female forestry officers working on the ground in Bhutan, she spends her days protecting the tigers of Royal Manas National Park from poachers.

    Singye Wangmo checking a tiger pug mark.
  • In a disturbing new trend, poachers are killing Myanmar’s elephants for their skin, teeth, and tails

    June 06, 2017

    In a disturbing and growing new trend, Asian elephants of all ages are being slaughtered in Myanmar for their skin and other body parts. WWF is launching an emergency action plan to train, equip, and deploy 10 anti-poaching teams to the most vulnerable areas, and implementing a thorough plan to stop the slaughter. 

    Elephant and calf in river
  • World Heritage sites, strongholds for tiger and African elephant populations, endangered by illegal harvesting of species

    April 18, 2017

    A new report by WWF reveals that World Heritage sites are especially vulnerable to illegal harvesting of species listed by CITES, including tigers and African elephants.

    Sumatran tiger
  • When you travel, bring back keepsakes, not mistakes

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2017
    Buying souvenirs can help support the local tourism trade, which is an important source of income for many communities. But make informed choices.
    Souvenirs Magazine Summer 2017
  • The power of connecting conservationists and tech experts

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2017
    What do a primate biologist in Brazil, a GIS specialist in Nigeria, and an artificial intelligence developer in Silicon Valley have in common? You can find them all on WILDLABS.NET.
    Wildlabs Map
  • Tracking elephant migrations

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2017
    In the first project of its kind in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, WWF—along with the Kenyan Wildlife Service and Narok County Council—is now collaring elephants.
    A recently GPS collared, matriarch African elephant stands with it's herd
  • South African rhino poaching numbers show need for urgent action

    February 27, 2017

    In 2016 alone, 1,054 rhinos were reported killed in South Africa.This figure represents a loss in rhinos of approximately 6% in South Africa, which is close to the birth rate, meaning the population remains perilously close to the tipping point.

    black rhino and calf
  • A monumental win for elephants: China will ban ivory trade by 2017

    December 30, 2016

    Today, we celebrate another big win for elephant conservation with China’s game-changing decision to end domestic ivory trade by 2017. The new regulations come as part of the government’s efforts to reduce demand for elephant ivory and help end the global elephant poaching crisis.

    African elephant
  • Nicholas Hoult joins WWF in Nepal to learn about rhino conservation

    December 19, 2016

    Nicholas Hoult traveled to Chitwan National Parkin in Nepal to learn about Nepal's and WWF's conservation efforts to protect the greater one-horned rhinos that are threatened by poaching and habitat loss, among other dangers. 

    Nicholas Hoult with a baby rhino
  • Celebrating the biggest conservation wins of 2016

    December 01, 2016

    The past year has shown us that when we work together, we can challenge the threats to nature and help ensure its ability to provide—for the sake of every living thing. Take a look at 2016 in review.

    Elephants close
  • New anti-poaching technology leads to dozens of arrests of wildlife criminals in Africa

    November 21, 2016

    WWF installed a new thermal infrared camera that can identify poachers from afar by their body heat—even in the dead of night—and it has since transformed the way rangers track down and apprehend criminals since its introduction in March.

    A man installing solar panels for FLIR camera system
  • Nine big wins for the world’s tigers

    November 17, 2016

    In November 2010, 13 tiger range countries came together and made an unprecedented pledge: to double the number of wild tigers by 2022. Mobilized by a century of dramatic decline, leaders convened in St. Petersburg, Russia to sign a declaration boosting tiger conservation efforts. This initial effort has led to significant momentum and progress, and for the first time in 100 years, tiger numbers are on the rise. Here are some highlights from the last six years. 

    Bengal cub walking in a meadow in India
  • New research shows investing in elephant conservation is smart economic policy

    November 01, 2016

    WWF’s African Elephant Program funded a research project that used techniques from economics and statistics to better understand the value of elephant conservation to local economies in Africa.

    tourists watch an elephant
  • 6 things to know about Tanzania’s largest protected area—and why we need to save it

    Selous Game Reserve, one of Africa’s oldest reserves and Tanzania’s largest protected area, holds vast potential, but it also faces a number of threats. By bringing together governments, local communities, industry and civil society groups, we can transform Selous into a success story.

    Sunset over Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania
  • Tag Team

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2016
    The Wildlife Crime Technology Project (WCTP) designs and builds cutting-edge technologies to combat wildlife poaching.
    Powell and Becker at computer
  • A US ban on elephant ivory carves out a better future for the species

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2016
    On June 2, 2016, the US Fish & Wildlife Service announced new federal regulations implementing a nearly complete ban on commercial ivory trade in the United States.
    Elephant
  • A ranger's commitment to wildlife

    October 01, 2016

    Anety is a wildlife police officer working in Zambia. She protects more than one hundred different species, including elephants, lions, and leopards, that call her park home. One of just three female wildlife rangers in her park, Anety works in a dangerous and under-resourced profession.

    Elephant in Zambia
  • CITES: Big steps for wildlife

    October 01, 2016

    During the world’s largest ever wildlife trade meeting—the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)—governments united behind a series of tough decisions to provide greater protection to a host of threatened species and bolster efforts to tackle soaring levels of poaching and wildlife trafficking.

    Head portrait of a Sumatran rhino
  • A massive win for the world’s most trafficked mammal

    September 28, 2016

    All legal trade of pangolins, the world’s most trafficked mammals, will soon end thanks to an international agreement to further protect the critically endangered species from extinction.

    Pangolin
  • WWF is saving black rhinos by moving them

    September 28, 2016

    WWF’s Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (BRREP) has been working with passion, commitment, and determination for a brighter future for the critically endangered black rhino for more than a decade. BRREP works to grow black rhino numbers by creating new populations and provides equipment and training to rangers to monitor, manage, and protect rhinos.

    black rhino calf in tall grass
  • Huge drop in African elephant population as poaching crisis continues

    September 25, 2016

    Africa’s elephant population has crashed by an estimated 111,000 in the past decade primarily due to poaching, according to the IUCN’s African Elephant Status Report.

    Elephants walking in KAZA
  • Why CITES matters

    September 23, 2016

    One of the best tools we have for fighting the illegal wildlife trade that threatens many of the world’s most endangered species is CITES—the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

    Siberian tiger walking in snow