Getting #SeriousAboutWildlifeCrime

What do camels use to hide themselves? Camelflauge of course!

If you search the Internet for wildlife jokes, you will find many – some good, some not so good. But you will find them.

Manta Rays in the Maldives


If as Oscar Wilde asserted life imitates art, then imagine a world without jokes – how sad. Imagine a world without wildlife – how tragic. 

Inspiration is but one of the numerous and priceless services wildlife offers us – for free.

Sadly some exploit those free services to the point of abuse and even criminality. The scale of the international illegal trade in wildlife alone is hard to grasp – market value figures up to $23 billion have been published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in a recent report for example.

The resulting threat of extinction looming over many species falling victim to greed makes this no laughing matter, however.

March 3 2015 marks World Wildlife Day – the time to get involved in a social media campaign supporting CITES in getting #SeriousAboutWildlifeCrime.

You can do this by joining the official Thunderclap campaign and by also sharing official tweets and Facebook posts online. SOS, IUCN and CITES will be posting regularly, so please keep an eye out online for messages you can share to help build momentum.

Ultimately, the responsibility lies with all of us to be vigilant and to support the fight against manmade extinction.

Getting #SeriousAboutWildlifeCrime is a positive step in awareness-raising on the issue.  An official calendar day endorsed by the UN makes it a significant step in the right direction for the world's agenda as we all consider what kind of world we wish to make for our children.


Channelling funds directly to the frontline, IUCN’s SOS is a way to support action on the ground.

To date, SOS has channelled $3 million to frontline conservation projects tackling a variety of wildlife crime issues threatening wildlife notably plant, terrestrial and marine animal species in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It has also supported the development of tools and programmes aimed at supporting patrolling efforts and strengthening the management of protected areas during that time.

While billion dollar figures may be daunting, together we can break them into manageable targets and goals. Of course this requires coordination of international bodies, legislators, researchers, law enforcement authorities, scientific experts and conservationists and we as individuals.

This is where SOS becomes relevant. All SOS projects are selected by members of the largest network of conservation specialists in the world – IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (SSC) –, because they fit with conservation priorities but also because of their impact potential, their return on investment.

And so far SOS has seen projects report on a bounty of successes for example for sharks, rays, rhinos, elephants, tigers, primates, manatees, marine turtles, cycads and birds: enhanced patrolling, enhanced community involvement, improved training and law enforcement, numerous interventions and arrests, reduced counts of poaching, increases in prosecutions, heightened awareness and changing attitudes among the buying public.

Getting #SeriousAboutWildlifeCrime is about becoming aware of the scale and scope of what constitutes wildlife crime, about bringing it to the forefront of the global media and policy agenda and about calling on all of us to take action. Meanwhile IUCN’s SOS is about presenting a way to act.

Please help make it easier for future generations of joke writers to come up with good and not-so-good puns and get #SeriousAboutWildlifeCrime this March 3 using the tools and materials available for download here.

Now, a giraffe walks into a bar…



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