Focal Species

We are currently focused on four areas:

    1. Trade in elephant, pangolin, and rhino parts out of Africa. These items constitute some of the largest shipments moved worldwide and are frequently comingled. Elephants are the largest land mammal and rapid decline is having widespread impacts on co-dependent species that are reliant on the natural disturbances elephants cause to the environment. Pangolins are currently the most poached mammal in the world.
    2. Illicit trade in timber harvested from Africa, Asia, Central and South America. Collectively, the illegal timber trade is a $150 billion industry causing enormous damage to habitat, climate and biodiversity.
    3. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, another high profit area ($30 billion/yr) that is causing enormous damage to ecosystems and economies as well as perpetuating human trafficking of workers.
    4. Pathogen tracking associated with the above illicit trades. As COVID-19 has demonstrated, pathogens from unregulated consumption of wildlife can have global consequences, affecting – among other things – human health, economic stability, and society at-large.

Notably, while we focus on the above tasks, these tasks also serve as model systems that are applicable to other species.