Wildlife Whistleblowers

Today, September 22, is World Rhino Day. Rhino numbers have declined dramatically over recent years as a result of poaching for their horns, which is believed to have medicinal value in some Asian countries. Whistleblower reward laws are a crucial tool for halting illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking, and can be especially important to protecting rhinos.

Supporting whistleblowers can serve as an effective tactic in fighting illegal wildlife trafficking, poaching, and deforestation. Whistleblower provisions in the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act, as well as others, incentivize whistleblowers to come forward with information, such as tips about wildlife trafficking, by providing monetary rewards to the whistleblower. Continue Reading Incentivizing Whistleblowers Can Help Combat Trafficking of Rhino Horn

In the region of East Africa, poachers are slaughtering elephants at a rate faster than these elephants can reproduce. In fact, thousands of elephants are cruelly killed each year to meet the seemingly insatiable demand for ivory.   The people and communities that live closest to these majestic animals pay a high price as a result of this illegal activity.  This is just one example of the critically urgent need to protect animals from illegal killing and to protect those brave enough to come forward with information to stop this wildlife crime before it happens.  Continue Reading The Role of Whistleblower Protections in Wildlife Conservation

International Tips
International tips are crucial to the SEC’s law enforcement capabilities. From 2011 to 2017, the SEC received a total of 2,655 whistleblowers from 113 countries. This map shows the countries as well as the frequency of those tips.

Washington, D.C. August 30, 2018. Today, the National Whistleblower Center (“NWC”) released a report analyzing data from Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (“FCPA”) cases since the law was passed in 1977, including several cases decided in 2018.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is one of the most important whistleblower laws, especially for foreign nationals and for combatting corruption and bribery occurring on foreign soil. The FCPA prohibits companies issuing stock in the U.S. – and their subsidiaries – from bribing foreign officials to win contracts and other business. Continue Reading The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is an Effective Tool to Stop Illegal Activity and Catch Illicit Profits

Photo Credit: Leslie Rose Photography
Photo Credit: Leslie Rose Photography

Whistleblowers have been effective at combatting financial and corporate crime, but are sorely lacking in the sphere of wildlife crime. If empowered to combat it, whistleblowers could be fundamental to dismantling the wildlife crime economy, writes Scott Hajost, Managing Director, Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program, National Whistleblower Center. Continue Reading Empowering whistleblowers is the key to combating wildlife crime

Today, July 29th, marks Global Tiger Day. It is a day to celebrate this unique apex predator, but also to remember that tigers around the globe are under threat. The IUCN Red List includes several subspecies of tiger as endangered or vulnerable, and tiger numbers have declined from an estimated 100,000 in 1990 to under 4,000 today.

The three primary causes of the decline in wild tiger populations are poaching, trafficking, and habitat loss. Tiger products, which are falsely considered by some to have medicinal benefits, and are also seen as a status symbol, are in high demand on the black market. This demand continues to drive poaching and trafficking. At the same time, tiger habitats are being destroyed due to forest clearing of forests and fragmentation of habitats from human development.

Continue Reading Activate Whistleblowers to Save Tigers

This Tuesday, the United States Institute of Peace hosted a bipartisan congressional dialogue featuring Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee. The dialogue focused on addressing the key steps and challenges in tackling illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking. The dialogue also highlighted that this illicit trade is a source of terrorist funding.

Continue Reading Lawmakers Discuss Linkage Between Wildlife Trafficking and Terrorism

“Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall they be saved.” – Jane Goodall

On July 14, 1960, Jane Goodall first stepped foot in Gombe Stream National Park. Over the past 58 years, Goodall has taught humans around the world to understand, care about, and help chimpanzees. For this reason, July 14th is marked as World Chimpanzee Day.

Today, our closest biological cousin is an endangered species.

Since 2015, chimpanzees have been classified as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service. Today, only 172,700 to 299,700 chimps are believed to remain; the population of western chimpanzees has decreased about 80% over the past quarter century. Human activities, including poaching, have been central to the precipitous drop in population. Not only are chimps slaughtered for bush meat, which is sold for profit in local marketplaces, but infant chimps are also kidnapped to be sold as pets. Other forms of human interaction with the environment such as logging have been detrimental to chimpanzee populations as they lead to habitat destruction.

Continue Reading How Whistleblowers Can Help Save Chimpanzees

WASHINGTON, D.C. | July 5th, 2018—A group rallied outside the Embassy of Mexico on Thursday morning, urging the Mexican government to protect the vaquita, a porpoise native to the country’s waters. Representatives from the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), and other concerned persons braved the blistering summer weather and joined forces to shed light on the rapidly declining population of the rare porpoise. Signs with phrases such as SAVE THE VAQUITA and FEWER THAN 30 LEFT, written in both Spanish and English, were held by the group, who wore shirts reading “Extinction is Forever.” Some members of the rally took to the street with signs raised above their heads, trying to grab the attention of passing cars.

Continue Reading Conservation Groups Rally at Mexican Embassy in Support of Critically Endangered Vaquita

A great strength of the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018 (H.R. 5697) is that it integrates innovative mechanisms for combating the illicit wildlife trade with preexisting wildlife protection methods. This post will explain how frontline enforcement innovations can bolster traditional conservation strategies.

Continue Reading H.R. 5697 Series—Part VI: Reinforcing Wildlife Conservation

Regulators and law enforcement must treat the illegal wildlife trade as a financial crime, argues Standard Chartered Bank in a recent bulletin.

“Approaches to tackling this trade have been limited by too-narrow a conception of it as a conservation issue,” it states. “Efforts to date have concentrated on the supply-side response. This is changing.”

Continue Reading Standard Chartered Report Demonstrates Need for Wildlife Whistleblowers