Wildlife Conservation Society

On average, poachers kill 96 elephants in Africa every day for their ivory tusks. Only 3,200 tigers remain in the wild because so many have been killed for their parts. Much of the world’s wildlife is in crisis, and one of the primary threats to many species is the illegal hunting and illegal trade in their products. This wildlife crime has escalated dramatically in recent years, and is estimated to be worth $19 billion annually. In all too many cases, illegal wildlife trade and other transnational crimes are interlinked – either involving the same trade routes and countries, or even some of the same crime syndicates. In many parts of the world, the illegal hunting of elephants and other species threatens sustainable peace and security, including by providing funding to insurgency groups. Wildlife trafficking is also a risk to the security and livelihoods of local communities.

As a global conservation organisation with on-the-ground programmes working to save wildlife and wild places in more than 60 countries, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is working to increase enforcement and stop illegal hunting, stop the illegal transport and trafficking of wildlife and wildlife products, and to stem the demand for these wildlife products by consumers. (Stop the Killing; Stop the Trafficking; Stop the Demand).

WCS also works at the global scale with United for Wildlife and its partners, on issues including implementation of technological and digital solutions to stem poaching, as a member of the newly formed transport task force that aims to work with industry partners to stop wildlife trafficking, and collaboratively to reduce demand for illegal wildlife.

Our innovative conservation solutions often buck worldwide trends. At WCS sites in India and Thailand, tiger numbers are up. In parks in Gabon, Congo, and Cameroon, elephant populations have held steady. WCS conservationists are working alongside rangers, ecoguards, rural communities, government officials, and even sniffer dogs to turn the tide for threatened wildlife.

In 2013, WCS launched 96 Elephants, a campaign to close the domestic ivory markets in the U.S. and other countries, galvanise funding to bolster elephant protection, and inform the world about the link between ivory consumption and the poaching crisis. As part of our global outreach efforts, we’re working to support local partners in their efforts to launch a social media campaign in China, aimed at helping citizens there understand the plight of elephants stemming from ivory consumption.