Our Cause

Wildlife urgently needs justice

Wildlife Crime

Wildlife crimes are causing irreversible harm to biodiversity and society. The poaching and trafficking of protected wildlife species, many of them already endangered, occurs on a truly industrial scale.

Wildlife crime has reached a crisis point:

  • Every 30 minutes an elephant is killed for their ivory
  • Every 8 hours a rhino is poached for their horns
  • There are less than 4,000 tigers left in the wild
  • Every five minutes a pangolin is poached in the wild
  • USD 1bn worth of illegally sourced python skins are imported into Europe each year

[Well] Organized Crime

Wildlife crime is a low-risk-for-high-reward dirty industry. And it is big business, currently estimated to be the 4th most profitable global crime, after drug trafficking, human trafficking and counterfeiting. Organised crime networks have been attracted by the large financial rewards and low risk of detection or prosecution enabling them to commit these crimes.

Given their complex and transnational nature, wildlife crimes are often overlooked: rather than going for the high-level international criminals, more focus is placed on targeting more accessible criminals such as poachers and low-level smugglers. When illegal shipments of wildlife are intercepted, they are rarely subjected to follow-up investigations.

About the Wildlife Justice Commission

The Wildlife Justice Commission believes our wildlife is not for sale to the highest bidder. It must be protected from traffickers who turn endangered species into trinkets and jewelry. We work to disrupt and help dismantle the networks that support this destructive industry.

We undertake undercover, intelligence-driven investigations, with a goal of presenting verifiable, first-hand evidence of wildlife crimes intelligence reports to national governments and law enforcement agencies for action. We identify high-level trafficking suspects through intelligence analysis and share intelligence with governments, to enable more effective enforcement against wildlife trafficking.

We had a powerful idea four years ago. Now we have proved that it works.

Read more about our impact.

We must act differently, faster and more decisively before it is too late and species are lost forever.