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Poaching--the word may conjure images of large-scale organized crime and of black markets. The poaching of elephants, rhinos, tigers, and other charismatic wildlife species is an important issue that dozens of conservation organizations are working to address. But often overlooked are the thousands of lesser-known endangered species that are also being driven to extinction by poaching. These thousands of species across the globe are being poached for a variety of reasons not related to the demand for ivory or rhino horn (for food, the pet trade, traditional and folk medicine, status symbols, etc.).

This has a massive impact on global biodiversity. On top of habitat degradation and destruction, wildlife crime has put many more species on the brink of extinction--and many of the lesser-known species are even more likely to go extinct than some of their better-known counterparts that receive the most attention and funding to support anti-poaching measures. When a species goes missing, even those that aren’t well known, the entire region suffers.

Global Wildlife Conservation focuses on the prevention of wildlife crime, rather than primarily on punishing offenders. This means working closely with communities to developing prevention strategies that take into account the societal and cultural drivers of wildlife crime, and ensuring the required systems and technology is in place where needed to stop poachers before a crime is even committed.

Rangers in Yal Unin Yul Witz Reserve
Carlos Vasquez-Almazan with rangers during a training session in Yal Unin Yul Witz Reserve. Photo courtesy of Carlos Vásquez Almazán.

What GWC Is Doing

GWC is engaged in wildlife crime prevention in regions around the globe. We help our local partners to develop comprehensive approaches that are highly tailored for each site to fit their specific needs and requirements.  Solutions are designed to meet a site’s unique challenges, similar to our work managing protected areas.

We help to find local solutions that work long term, which may or may not include increasing local law enforcement presence. GWC is increasing the support for local staff and field personnel, using technology to make existing countermeasures more effective and collaborating with local partners, authorities, communities and indigenous peoples to ensure we have the best information available. This creates sustainable solutions to growing problems.

We’re applying conservation criminology to understand why criminal activities are happening. There’s not a magic bullet to end wildlife crime, so we must maximize every available resource. A holistic approach that creates region-specific solutions is our best path towards achieving zero poaching and protecting biodiversity.

Zero Poaching Toolkit

Our Actions

Rangers in Chile
Placing camera traps with rangers from Nevado Tres Cruces National park and GWC’s Jim Sanderson in Chile. (Photo by C. Napolitano)

Stay Wild. Stay Connected.