Poachers kill thousands of animals every year


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Poaching eradicates species populations

Poaching—the illegal hunting or capture of wildlife—is one of the largest, most vicious threats to biodiversity and threatens the survival of countless species. It is a million- to billion-dollar industry, run by international networks that traffic animals across the globe for their parts, traditional medicine, the pet trade and numerous other nefarious activities.

Plants are no exception–timber species are logged and overexploited and rare flowers are relentlessly harvested for the cosmetics industry.

Frequent victims of poaching

Forest Elephants walking in the grasses
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The African Forest Elephant (CR). Elephant tusks are a prize in the ivory trade.

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The Sumatran Tiger (EN). Big cats like lions, tigers and jaguars are sought after for their pelts and bones.

White Bellied Pangolin
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The White Bellied Pangolin (EN). Pangolin scales are highly valued in traditional medicine.

Nigeria Cameroon Chimpanzee
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The Chimpanzee (EN). Primates like chimpanzees are taken and turned into pets.

Scalloped Hammerhead
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The Scalloped Hammerhead (CR). Sharks are finned for luxury food.

hawksbill turtle
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The Hawksbill Turtle. Sea turtles are killed for their eggs, shells and meat.

The Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw. Wild birds are taken for the pet trade.
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The Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw. Wild birds are taken for the pet trade. Photo courtesy of Michael Seeley/Flickr.

Black Rhino
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The Black Rhino (CR). Rhino horns are highly valued in the illegal trade.

Our Impact

Protected areas ward off poachers

Rainforest Trust creates protected areas to defend wildlife against these crimes. Our partners conduct routine patrols to ensure permanent protection for the animal and plant species within a territory.

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