Wildlife Trafficking Whistleblowers

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

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

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

On May 8, 2018, Representative Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) and Don Young (R-AK), introduced H.R. 5697, the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act (WCATA) of 2018. The bipartisan bill will “support wildlife conservation, improve anti-trafficking enforcement, [and] provide dedicated funding for wildlife conservation at no expense to the taxpayer.” It includes critical whistleblower provisions necessary to incentivize informants to risk their careers (or their lives) to report trafficking.

Continue Reading H.R. 5697 Series—Part I: The Extinction Crisis

Panamanian Golden Frog (Atelopus zeteki) is already extinct in the wild.

At the annual Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Reception, Capitol Hill got an up-close and personal view of just how important, and fascinating, biodiversity is to our planet. During the event, members of Congress spoke about wildlife trafficking and efforts to protect endangered species, and AZA representatives discussed how zoos and aquariums provide information about wildlife conservation to the public.

Continue Reading AZA Congressional Reception Brings Attention to Wildlife Trafficking