Identifying Wildlife Crime Routes

IFAW KWS rangers retrieving ivory from poachers' hideout. Courtesy of Kenya Wildlife Services.

Using cutting-edge DNA testing and other forensic analysis, this investigation by WildLife Direct tracks the movement of elephant tusks through Kenya, establishing entry points, routes and exit points of ivory, as well as the modus operandi of dealers and cartels.

WildlifeDirect was founded in 2005 by Dr Richard Leakey to support African efforts to protect wildlife heritage as an important global heritage. Dr Leakey led Kenya’s successful campaign for a worldwide ban on trade in ivory in the 1980s. This ban destroyed demand for ivory, prices collapsed and poaching was largely eliminated. Regrettably, poaching is back at levels that, if not abated, will lead to the extinction of the African elephant.

WildlifeDirect holds a unique and special role in Kenya’s wildlife conservation efforts. Over the past few years it has been widely recognized for its singular successes in advocacy and the engagement of the people of Kenya to support the protection of elephants. At a popular level this never has been experienced before in Kenya or any other elephant range state.

Through collaborative partnerships, we support innovative projects that protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction, while restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities. Our work is divided into six main program areas – Wildlands Conservation, Oceans Conservation, Climate Change, Indigenous Rights, Transforming California, and Innovative Solutions.

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