Illegal wildlife trade is a multi-billion-dollar industry that is decimating countless species around the globe, and that also extracts a heavy toll on the rangers, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and other dedicated conservationists putting their lives on the line to protect our world’s most imperiled species. The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to bring in up to $20 billion annually for international criminal networks and terrorist organizations, and the historically light sentences faced by poachers make wildlife trafficking a low risk-high reward crime for the perpetrators. This booming trade is devastating some of the world’s most beloved and iconic species, including Africa’s elephant and rhino species.
EIA has an extensive history of exposing illegal trade in endangered species products, including elephant ivory, rhino horn, tiger bone and skins, bear gall bladders, whale, dolphin and porpoise products, turtle shell, large scale trade in live caught wild birds and parrots, and destruction or degrading of their terrestrial or marine habitats. Our strategies rely on detailed investigations to document illegal trade in products of such threatened species, and we use that evidence to gain international and domestic precautionary policies and solutions to increase protections for threatened species.