Illegal trade in wildlife


"The international illegal trafficking in wildlife and wildlife products has reached crisis proportions. It is a threat to the existence of iconic species, undermines the rule of law, threatens local community development and livelihoods, local and national revenue streams, and compromises local, national and global security. The growing menace of wildlife trafficking necessitates a call to action for the global community."

International Wildlife Trafficking Symposium, Zoological Society of London (ZSL)



Recent news articles


Useful references

  • Forensic Working Group (2014) Wildlife crime: a guide to the use of forensic and specialist techniques in the investigation of wildlife crime. [Surrey]: Crown copyright [read the full-text, accessed 14/8/2014]
  • The elephant in the room: sustainable use in the illegal wildlife trade debate. International Institute for Environment and Development (issue date: February 2014) [Read the full-text, accessed 12/8/2014]
  • A searchable resource of worldwide reports on interceptions of illegally traded wildlife and wildlife products
  • Ayling, J. (2013) What sustains wildlife crime? Rhino horn trading and the resilience of criminal networks. Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy, 16(1), pp. 57-80
  • Karesh, William B. et al (2012) The unregulated and informal trade in wildlife: implications for biodiversity and health. Animal health and biodiversity: preparing for the future. Compendium of the OIE Global Conference on Wildlife, Paris, France, 23-25 February 2011, pp. 51-57
  • Hansen, A.L.S. et al. (2012) Digital surveillance: a novel approach to monitoring the illegal wildlife trade. PLoS ONE, 7(12):e51156 [Read the full-text]
  • Travis, D.A., Watson, R.P. and Tauer, A. (2011) The spread of pathogens through the trade in wildlife. Revue Scientifique et Technique de l'Office International des Epizooties 30, pp. 219-239
  • Kock, R.A., Woodford, M.H. and Rossiter, P.B. (2010) Disease risks associated with the translocation of wildlife. Revue Scientifique et Technique de l'Office International des Epizooties 29, pp. 329-350
  • Karesh, William B. et al (2005) Wildlife trade and global disease emergence. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 11(7), pp. 1000-1002 [Read the full-text]


More references on the illegal trade in wildlife are available to download from our 'Related documents' box


Photo 1 by Dfg13. Elephants drinking at Kazinga Channel, Uganda. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Photo 2 by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.