U.S. Intelligence to Track Global Poachers

4 December 2012

Wildlife trafficking treated as security threat

Not only does the booming illegal trade of international wildlife poaching and trading cause serious issues for sustainability and viability of fragile ecosystems, but the Obama administration will now be stepping up efforts to help stem such trade while assessing its impact on security interests. As reported by a blog on The New York Times by Andrew Revkin, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the issue last month after The Times began a series on the connection between poaching and insurgency in African regions:

She spoke to an audience of ambassadors, government officials, conservationists and scientists, noting that while much of the focus of late has been on Asian markets, the fast-growing middle class around the world – including in the United States – has created a huge market for a wide range of rare species and products derived from them.

Outside Magazine also reported on the issue online, quoting Secretary Clinton as saying:
It is one thing to be worried about the traditional poachers who come in and kill and take a few animals, a few tusks, a few horns, or other animal parts. It's something else when you've got helicopters, night vision goggles, automatic weapons, which pose a threat to human life as well as wildlife.