The world is dealing with an unprecedented spike in illegal wildlife trade. It is the greatest direct threat to the future of some of the planet’s most iconic species including rhinos, elephants, tigers, pangolins and many more.
How it works
- The Wildlife Witness app empowers you to report illegal wildlife trade. If you see something, say something
- Your reports enter a database that is used by a Wildlife Crime Analyst to collate information and identify trends
- Enforcement agencies are informed so that action can be taken
What you can do
Ready to end the illegal wildlife trade? Here's what you can do:
- Download the Wildlife Witness app next time you are travelling to Southeast Asia. If you see something, take a photo pinning the location of the incident
- Make sure you know the facts before buying animal products or parts and help to reduce the demand by simply saying no
- Be a responsible tourist. Support genuine eco-tourism as it provides income for local communities reducing their reliance on other activities that negatively impact wildlife or habitats
Everything you need to know
Defined as the unsustainable practice of killing endangered species due to their rarity and perceived economic value, the illegal wildlife trade has a devastating impact on biodiversity and state stability.
It is the greatest immediate threat to the future of many of our most iconic species, with over 27,000 elephants and more than 1,000 rhinos killed every year. More quietly, we face the permanent loss of fauna as diverse as pangolins and tortoises.
Animals are being killed or taken from the wild to be sold for medicines, luxury food, trophy parts, restaurant dishes, fashion items and pets.
The illegal wildlife trade is the fourth most lucrative transnational crime after drugs, arms and human trafficking and is valued by the UN Environment Programme at $23 billion US a year – twice the gross domestic product of commonly poached countries such as Tanzania or Kenya.
Southeast Asia is a global hotspot for wildlife crime; not only does this region have more plants and animals threatened by trade than anywhere else; it is also a major trade hub for a multitude of species from around the globe. Open wildlife markets continue to flourish, and increasingly, so does the online trade in wildlife.
In partnership with TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, we have created Wildlife Witness; the first global community action tool in the fight against illegal wildlife trade.
The Wildlife Witness smartphone app allows tourists and locals to easily report wildlife trade by taking a photo, pinning the exact location of an incident and sending these important details to TRAFFIC.
Reports are analysed by a Wildlife Crime Data Analyst and credible incidents referred to enforcement agencies for action. This process helps prioritise response actions, builds data that improves understanding of illegal wildlife trade and highlights areas for increased enforcement resources.
You never know when you may witness wildlife crime - markets and shops across Southeast Asia are wildlife trade hotspots. With over 1.2 million Aussies holidaying in Indonesia alone each year, everyone knows someone who will be travelling that can lend their eyes to the wild. So share the Wildlife Witness app with your friends and family and let’s be the generation that puts an end to illegal wildlife trade.