Changing Planet

Fighting Wildlife Crime: Unsung Heroes (Video)

Wildlife trafficking today is unlike anything the world has ever seen before,” says Bryan Christy in this video. The award-winning investigative journalist and National Geographic Fellow adds: “Rare animals are being exploited by criminal syndicates who have access to advanced technology, advanced weapon systems. There’s a huge imbalance in terms of the resources Law Enforcement have and the resources criminal networks have. Imagine going into the bush against a group of armed poachers, and you’re not sure whether your weapons will fire.”

Fighting Some of the Worst People in the World

The most important and unsung element of wildlife crime are the rangers on the ground,” Christy says. “These men and women are asked to go out and fight some of the worst people in the world.”

The more time he spends doing his investigative work, the more he realizes it is a human story, Chrjsty adds. It is to the benefit of criminals and their networks to keep these matters in the dark, he says. “So it sounds small, but sharing these stories is incredibly important.”

Bryan Christy recently chaired a global seminar and training summit in Washington, D.C., focusing on collaboration between wildlife law enforcement agencies across the world. Read more about this below. Follow the link for a more comprehensive briefing.


Photograph by David Claypool

Uniting Against Organized Wildlife Crime

Law enforcement agencies, NGOs, and business leaders gathered from across the world in Washington recently to share information and expertise and organize a concerted strategy to combat the global scourge of wildlife trafficking.

The unprecedented collaboration was heralded at the National Geographic Society’s headquarters on Tuesday, at an event held against the backdrop of recent news of a catastrophic plunge in the last wild populations of African elephants and other species. The meeting also set the stage for CITES CoP17, a conference in Johannesburg at the end of this month that will bring more than a hundred governments together to review the planet’s biggest wildlife challenges and opportunities.

More About National Geographic’s Contributions to Fighting Wildlife Crime

National Geographic Society

  • Saving Big Cats: Around the world, trophy hunting, habitat loss, and conflict with humans are putting big cats at great risk. See what we’re doing to help.
  • A Voice for Elephants: Elephants may be large, heavy and thick-skinned, but they are being threatened with extinction in the wild by poaching for their ivory, and by human impact on their habitats. “A Voice for Elephants” is a resource for information about this critical species, a forum for discussion, and a rally point for those who want to stand with them.
National Geographic Media
The National Geographic Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is dedicated to shining light on commercial-scale exploitation of wildlife and other valued resources, identifying weaknesses in national and international efforts to protect wildlife, and empowering institutions and individuals working for a better world. Stories cover a range of human activity, from crime to heroism. You can find all of the SIU’s stories at Wildlife Watch.
Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
  • Sam Jojola

    Many thanks and kudos to you Bryan for your great leadership with decisive and comprehensive investigations that has led to this great step forward with getting NGO’s, law enforcement representatives of our government and business interests and leaders from around the globe to unify and address the exponential devastation of wildlife resources throughout the planet. This is a great platform going forward to see if the next administration takes this as seriously as you do.

    It was very nice to see Director Dan Ashe bestow Chief of the USFWS Special Investigations Unit Jim Gale the prestigious Distinguished Service Award recently. Many kudos to RAC Tim Santel of the USFWS SIU and the dedicated field agents in Operation Crash for a job well done.

  • Difrea Zoya

    Thanks for the great job Brian, am a Ranger in Malawi myself;what Fyson Suwedi was saying is totally true, poachers are more dangerous than wild animals

  • Ramli M

    Hope they keep going on,god bless them and they have a nice life forever.Safe the wildlife,tks so much !

  • shanna


  • Carly

    People are big fat gerc fases I mean whoudent we whant eliphens then ivory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Carly

    I may be 10 but this is searyus people

  • Mahogany

    I really think that these videos where really inspiring and really
    Cool .


    We need to fight against wildlife crime,NOW!

  • margarita

    how they spent their day

  • Water Trading

    Wonderful blog, I got ultimate information with this blog.

  • neeshelle

    i need help


    let us fight deffestation in uganda for future generation corsavtion of ugandan tourism benefits

  • Aiden

    THE LITTLE DODO BIRD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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