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Illegal Wildlife Trade Stories

Woraya Makai (34) walks through the jungle during of a morning patrol together with a team of rangers. She’s the only female ranger deployed in Kui Buri and in charge of photographing and surveying the animals she’s seeing around the park.

Kui Buri National Park’s only female ranger shatters stereotypes

In Thailand, women like Kwan remain a rarity. But neither this nor the voices alleging that women aren’t suited for the ranger lifestyle – which comprises long working hours in spartan and sometimes dangerous conditions, away from loved ones – have prevented her from living her truth.

  • Collaring elephants in one of Africa's last great wildernesses

    April 03, 2018

    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.

    elephant in Selous
  • Last male northern white rhino dies

    March 21, 2018

    On March 19, 2018 the last male northern white rhino died. Sudan, 45 years old, had been under armed guard to protect him from the threat of poachers. His death is heartbreaking. The extinction of the northern white rhino is happening before our eyes.

    rhino
  • South Africa’s rhino poaching trends show a slight decrease—but death toll remains too high

    January 29, 2018

    New 2017 rhino poaching numbers out of South Africa show a small decrease from the previous year, but the death toll remains perilously high.

    Two black rhinos in South Africa
  • New US elephant ivory market study helps agencies better regulate trade

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2018
    In 2016, the US government imposed a “near-total ban” on imports, exports, and domestic trade of African elephant ivory. The findings led to recommendations that could help the US regulate the trade.
    African elephant on a white background
  • WWF supporters rally to stop elephant poaching in Myanmar

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2018
    More than 3,000 WWF supporters donated a total of $263,211 to fund 10 antipoaching teams targeting Myanmar’s most vulnerable areas.
    antipoaching mynmar spring2018
  • Saving a forest stronghold

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2018
    Deep within Africa’s second-largest country, Salonga is a core part of one of Earth’s greatest and last tropical forests, still virtually untouched by modern-day resource extraction and development.
    rangers paddle down a river in Salonga National Park
  • WWF is saving black rhinos by moving them

    December 14, 2017

    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.

    A rhino standing in a field
  • Most Chinese consumers support an upcoming ban on elephant ivory in China—if they know about it

    By the end of December, it will be illegal to sell or buy elephant ivory in China. But will the new and critical ban succeed in a country that’s home to the largest legal ivory market in the world?

    elephants stand close together
  • Camera traps in Thailand reveal new tigers

    September 11, 2017

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

    Adult tiger captured on a camera trap.
  • 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