Illegal wildlife trade crisis

A pile of ivory tusks

In recent years the impact of illegal wildlife trade (IWT) on species has reached unprecedented levels.

This illicit trade is estimated to be worth up to $23 billion a year and represents a threat to the very existence of some of our best-loved species including rhinos, tigers, elephants and pangolins. Urgent action is needed to address this crisis, to help countries control poaching on the ground as well as to take steps to reduce the demand in consumer countries that is ultimately driving the trade.

ZSL has a long and rich history of conservation work and is currently active in over 50 countries around the world. An important element of this work addresses the impacts of the illegal wildlife trade, on species, habitats and people. 

Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference: London 2018

The UK was recently host to a high-level international conference with ZSL as a supporting partner. The conference brought together global leaders to build partnerships and identify collaborative solutions to combat IWT. The conference was the fourth in a series that began in London in 2014 when governments signed a declaration addressing four key pillars: eradicating markets in illegal wildlife products, strengthening law enforcement, ensuring effective legal frameworks and supporting sustainable livelihoods. 

This year, the focus was on three key themes; tackling IWT as a serious crime issue, building coalitions and closing domestic markets.

ZSL was also host to three supportive events for academics, NGOs, leading technology companies and government representatives in the lead up to this high-level event. 

Follow #EndWildlifeCrime on Twitter for ongoing news and information.

Find out more about the illegal wildlife trade conference.

ZSL Anti Poaching staff, Dja, Cameroon

This year the UK was host to a high-level international conference to bring...

Camera trap footage of tiger at night

In recent years the impact of IWT on species has reached unprecedented...

Group of people with laptop around a table

Prior to the 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Conference (11-12 October),...

ZSL's Law Enforcement Advisor Christian Plowman

Metropolitan police detective turned wildlife crime-fighter Christian...

Two men looking at microchips in camouflage gear

In the lead-up to the illegal wildlife trade conference 2018, technology...

Siberian Marmot, Mongolia.

Illegal wildlife trade in Mongolia is a serious, yet under-reported problem...

Tek handling Panthera poachercams

As global leaders from around the world meet in London this week to identify...

Gir Forest rangers users SMART technology

Software to help improve the effectiveness of site-based conservation work...

Temminck’s ground pangolin. Picture: Scott and Judy Hurd

Pangolins are now thought to be the world’s most illegally trafficked wild...

Dja biosphere reserve eco-guards

ZSL is working with the Cameroonian government’s Conservation Service and...

Black rhino

ZSL is working with Social Finance, the United Nations Development Programme...

Sumatran tiger - Sembilang National Park

Much of the ZSL Indonesia Field Programme's activities focus on the Sumatran...

Forest Elephant

ZSL is working to protect forest elephants in the Congo Basin in the face of...

Black Rhino

ZSL works with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to protect flagship species...

Stony Coral Colony

For over a decade ZSL has been working closely with the UK Border Agency...

African elephant

ZSL is working in the last stronghold of West African carnivores and...

setting up a camera trap in a snowy Russian landscape

ZSL has been working to conserve Amur tigers and Amur leopards in the...

ZSL works in Nepal to protect endangered greater one-horned rhino, Bengal...

Filming seahorses in the Caribbean

ZSL is working to protect seahorses in the Philippines and elsewhere through...

Nepal stockpile burning

ZSL, partnering with government and NGOs, is supporting the recovery of...

Bushmeat- palm civet

ZSL works to understand and reduce the scale, trends and impacts of hunting...

Close up black and white photograph of an elephants tusks

As a learned society, ZSL is committed to endorse the fight against the...