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The Illegal Wildlife Trade

This is the first post in our series on the top 10 wildlife conservation challenges and solutions, to provide some quick and easy to read background information to our game Conservation Crisis.


Challenge #1 – The Illegal Wildlife Trade


The Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) is one of the biggest threats to wildlife. Animals are killed for their horns, tusks, bones and coats, to be sold illegally to wealthy buyers around the world. Poaching for the illegal wildlife trade has had a devastating impact on many species, causing massive drops in the population of elephants and rhinos, as well as other species. The trade is run by organised criminal groups – often the same groups involved in the illegal drugs trade – and militia groups; for example, a rebel militia in Uganda called the Lord’s Resistance Army hunted elephants and sold the ivory to buy weapons and pay their soldiers.

Solution #1 – Rangers


Rangers are central to all conservation work, the wildlife guardians on the frontline to protect wildlife. It is a dangerous job and many rangers have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty to protect wildlife. Ensuring that rangers are properly paid, equipped and supported is vital to make sure they can carry on their life saving work to protect wildlife.

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