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Wildlife Trafficking Risks


Wildlife trafficking?

Wildlife trafficking refers to the illegal trade of animals and their derivatives, often involving endangered or protected species. This trade can include live animals, as well as parts of animals like ivory, skins, and bones. It's a significant global issue that threatens biodiversity, disrupts ecosystems, and can contribute to the spread of diseases. Many countries have laws and international agreements in place to combat wildlife trafficking and protect vulnerable species.


Wildlife trafficking risk?

Wildlife trafficking risk refers to the likelihood of illegal trade in wildlife occurring in a particular region or involving specific species. Factors that contribute to this risk include the demand for exotic animals or their parts, weak law enforcement, corruption, limited resources for conservation efforts, and inadequate legal frameworks. High wildlife trafficking risk areas are often those with valuable or rare species, lax regulations, and connections to global markets where these illegal products are in demand. Efforts to mitigate this risk involve strengthening enforcement, raising public awareness, and implementing effective conservation strategies.


Wildlife Trafficking Risk Assessment?

A Wildlife Trafficking Risk Assessment is a systematic evaluation of the likelihood and potential impacts of illegal wildlife trade occurring in a particular region, with a specific focus on identifying vulnerabilities, threats, and areas of concern. This assessment is typically conducted to inform conservation efforts, law enforcement strategies, and policy decisions related to wildlife protection.

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Wildlife Trafficking Risk Assessment?

Conducting a Wildlife Trafficking Risk Assessment can bring several benefits:

Legal Compliance

If you're involved in industries that interact with wildlife, such as tourism, pet trade, or agriculture, assessing these risks can help you comply with relevant laws and regulations.

Ethical Responsibility

It reflects your ethical responsibility to contribute to the protection of biodiversity and combat illegal trade that harms ecosystems and species.

Reputation and Sustainability

Demonstrating a commitment to combating wildlife trafficking enhances your organisation's reputation and supports sustainability efforts.

Awareness and Understanding

It helps you understand the extent of wildlife trafficking risks in your organisation.

Targeted Action

Identifying high-risk areas and species enables you to allocate resources more effectively for conservation efforts and law enforcement.

Long-Term Impact

By addressing the root causes of wildlife trafficking, you contribute to long-term preservation of ecosystems and the species that inhabit them.


Wildlife trafficking?

Southeast Asia

Countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia are known for their high demand for wildlife products and their role as trafficking hubs.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Many African countries with diverse and valuable wildlife populations, such as Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa, face significant trafficking challenges.

Central and South America

Nations like Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico are home to rich biodiversity and have been targeted for illegal wildlife trade due to demand for exotic species and products.

Southeast Europe

Countries in the Balkan region are often used as transit points for trafficking wildlife between Asia and Europe.


As a major consumer of wildlife products, particularly traditional medicines and exotic pets, China plays a significant role in driving global wildlife trafficking.


Russia's vast landscapes and rich biodiversity make it a hotspot for trafficking activities, including the trade of rare furs and other animal parts.


With its diverse ecosystems and high demand for wildlife products, India faces challenges related to trafficking of species like tigers, elephants, and pangolins.


This island nation is known for its unique and endemic species, making it a target for trafficking in rare plants and animals.

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Wildlife trafficking?

Several industries are at risk of unintentionally contributing to wildlife trafficking due to their demand for wildlife products or potential to facilitate illegal trade. Some of the industries most at risk include:

Traditional Medicine

Industries that use wildlife products for traditional medicine, such as the use of animal parts in traditional Chinese medicine, can drive demand for endangered species.

Exotic Pet Trade

The demand for exotic pets can lead to the illegal capture and trade of rare and endangered species.

Fashion and Luxury Goods

Industries that use animal skins, fur, and other parts in fashion and luxury products can contribute to the demand for trafficked wildlife.


The tourism industry, particularly ecotourism, can inadvertently create demand for wildlife souvenirs, leading to illegal trade.

Bushmeat Trade

The consumption of wild animals as food, known as the bushmeat trade, can drive overhunting and contribute to trafficking.

Art and Collectibles

Artefacts made from wildlife parts, such as ivory carvings, can encourage the poaching of animals.

Pharmaceutical and Biomedical

Industries that use wildlife products in pharmaceuticals or for research purposes can inadvertently contribute to trafficking.

Aquarium Trade

The trade of rare and exotic marine species for the aquarium trade can lead to overharvesting and illegal trade.

Logging and Habitat Destruction

Industries involved in logging and habitat destruction can indirectly facilitate trafficking by encroaching on wildlife habitats and making it easier for traffickers to access and capture animals.

Agriculture and Development

Land development and agricultural expansion can lead to habitat loss and increased human-wildlife conflict, potentially driving illegal trade.

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Wildlife Trafficking Risk Assessment?

Conducting a Wildlife Trafficking Risk Assessment involves several steps:

Define Scope and Goals

Determine the scope of your assessment, such as the geographical area, species, and specific objectives you want to achieve.

Gather Data

Collect data on wildlife populations, historical trafficking trends, law enforcement efforts, market demand, and relevant socio-economic factors.

Identify High-Risk Areas and Species

Analyse the collected data to identify regions and species most vulnerable to trafficking. Consider factors like species rarity, market demand, and law enforcement capacity.

Assess Vulnerability

Evaluate the vulnerability of high-risk species and areas based on factors like population size, reproductive rate, habitat stability, and accessibility to traffickers.

Evaluate Threats

Identify and assess the different threats contributing to wildlife trafficking, including market demand, corruption, enforcement gaps, and habitat degradation.

Rank Risk Levels

Assign risk levels to different species and areas based on a combination of vulnerability and threats. This helps prioritise conservation efforts.

Develop Mitigation Strategies

Create targeted strategies to address the identified risks. This may involve strengthening law enforcement, enhancing habitat protection, reducing market demand, and raising public awareness.

Implement and Monitor

Put the strategies into action and continuously monitor their effectiveness. Adapt your approach as needed based on new information and changing circumstances.


Engage with government agencies, NGOs, local communities, and other stakeholders to maximise the impact of your efforts.


Regularly communicate the results of your assessment, progress on mitigation strategies, and success stories to raise awareness and inspire collective action.


A Wildlife Trafficking Risk Assessment?

When conducting a Wildlife Trafficking Risk Assessment, consider a range of risk factors that contribute to the likelihood of illegal trade and its impact on species and ecosystems. Some key risk factors to consider include:

By considering these risk factors in your assessment, you can develop a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics driving wildlife trafficking in a particular area or with regard to specific species. This, in turn, will help you design more effective strategies to mitigate these risks and protect vulnerable wildlife.

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