No, I’m not talking about the odd picnic basket going missing from yellowstone or evil snow leopards trying to take over!

Organised criminal groups that have traditionally been involved in drugs, people trafficking and other heinous crimes have turned their attention to wildlife; from tiger pelts to rhino horns and a host in-between. This illegal market is worth an estimated $19 billion a year and is rapidly growing. In 2007 13 rhinos were killed, but that has risen to 1004 in 2013.

A meeting was held at ZSL to come up with an action plan to help remedy the situation which will feed into another meeting to be held by the UK government.

Prof Jonathan Baillie, director of conservation at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) stated: “People on the ground need to have the tools, the technology and the money to implement conservation effectively.¬†They are up against massive crime networks that are extremely well resourced – and they are outmanned and outgunned.”

Let’s hope that at least on the technological front we can catch up…

For more details on this story go to:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26153516

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26122438