Wildlife Whistleblowers

“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

This is a multi-part series on the Whistleblower Protection Blog covering the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018. 

What do Atlanta teachers, crooked investors, mafiosos, and Mexican cartel members all have in common? The answer: all were indicted under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Continue Reading H.R. 5697 Series—Part V: The Power of RICO

This is a multi-part series on the Whistleblower Protection Blog covering the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018. 

Whistleblowers are a key component of fighting fraud and corruption. From securities to regulations to wildlife trafficking, whistleblowers help report, investigate, and prosecute those who fail to follow the rules. The National Whistleblower Center has more than 30 years of history advocating for whistleblowers and strongly supports the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018 (H.R. 5697), a bill which will protect species under threat by expanding protections and rewards for wildlife whistleblowers.

Continue Reading H.R. 5697 Series—Part IV: Utilizing Best Practices To Combat Wildlife Crime

Partnership bolsters efforts in tackling wildlife trafficking around the globe

WASHINGTON, D.C. | June 13, 2018 The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and National Whistleblower Center (NWC) have signed a strategic cooperative agreement to further advance efforts in combating wildlife trafficking around the globe. IFAW and NWC will work in tandem to leverage NWC’s Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program by integrating into locations where the threat of corruption is most concentrated, including transnational borders and international air and shipping ports.

Continue Reading International Fund for Animal Welfare and National Whistleblower Center Form Strategic Partnership

This is a multi-part series on the Whistleblower Protection Blog covering the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018. 

Whistleblowers have reported on securities violations, alerted the IRS to tax fraud, uncovered foreign corruption, provided information about government contract fraud, and blown the lid off suspect techniques at government crime labs.

As insiders, whistleblowers are best-positioned to report on illegal activity. Strong whistleblower laws have helped curb white collar fraud for decades. Now, it is time to fully activate the power of whistleblowers to diminish and ultimately demolish wildlife trafficking syndicates.

Continue Reading H.R. 5697 Series—Part III: Whistleblowers Are The Missing Piece In Combatting Wildlife Trafficking

Kohn is representing an anonymous whistleblower(s) who has gathered information on wildlife trafficking that takes place on Facebook.

Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) and whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn has been featured in a WIRED article about Facebook’s wildlife trafficking market. The story details how Kohn and his team at NWC are using a novel methodology, whistleblower law, to hold Facebook accountable for the wildlife black market facilitated on its website. Continue Reading Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center Featured in WIRED Story

This is a multi-part series on the Whistleblower Protection Blog covering the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018. 

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report titled: “Combating Wildlife Trafficking: Opportunities Exist to Improve the Use of Financial Rewards.” It further demonstrates the urgent need for legislation like the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018 (H.R. 5697), which contains provisions for the payment of financial rewards to incentivize wildlife whistleblowers.

Continue Reading H.R 5697 Series—Part II: The GAO Calls For Improved Wildlife Whistleblower Reward Programs