Topic outline

  • General

  • Part 1: Illegal wildlife trade and financial crime


    Information gaps on the legal and illegal trade in wildlife hamper conservation and enforcement efforts. They also hinder the efforts of private companies and financial institutions to identify and mitigate their risks of being unwitting accomplices to the illicit trade.

    One of the key challenges is a lack of up-to-date knowledge on species numbers and conservation status. Given the dynamic nature of ecosystems and the regular discovery of new species, it is unrealistic to expect a comprehensive and accurate database of this type. However, estimates of the scope and scale of the illegal trade within and between countries often rely on decades-old estimates of the number of wild animals trafficked ( Charity and Machado Ferreira, 2020Ege et al, 2020 Sollund, 2013).

    Crucial knowledge gaps

    • Number of animals or plants in the wild
    • Number of animals or plants illegally trafficked per year
    • Percentage of species trafficked that are intercepted
    • Prices paid for species along the supply chain
    • Trade dynamics across species
    • Size of illegal domestic markets