Illegal wildlife trade is run by criminal networks with wide, international reach. Recent evidence shows that some networks are also linked to terrorist organizations.
Local wildlife is considered an important resource by many communities, often the poorest, in the developing world.
This includes the people buying the end product as well as shop-keepers, suppliers and manufacturers.
WWF actively discourages the purchase of certain wildlife goods.
WWF's expertise ensures that the threats to the environment from wildlife trade are tackled from an informed and global standpoint.
It’s one thing to ban or limit trade in a particular species, but another to effectively enforce this—especially in developing countries where training and funds for enforcement are often lacking.
Rhino horn, elephant ivory and tiger products continue to command high prices among consumers, especially in Asia.
In Vietnam, the recent myth that rhino horn can cure cancer has led to massive poaching in South Africa and pushed the price of rhino horn to rival gold.
Just as overfishing causes imbalances in the whole marine system, our complex web of life on earth depends on careful and thoughtful use of wildlife species and their habitats.
Many invasive species have been purposely introduced by wildlife traders or buyers.