Illegal wildlife trade is one of the most pressing threats to our planet’s biodiversity, and a wide variety of people and organisations – from individuals and community groups to NGOs and government agencies – are focusing efforts and resources on tackling this complex problem.

Drawing on lessons learned from effective approaches to tackling non-wildlife crime, including terrorism and drug trafficking, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has been exploring the potential of situational crime prevention to discover whether this approach from criminology could yield similar success in tackling illegal wildlife trade.

Broadly speaking, situational crime prevention is a proactive approach that aims, through careful analysis of the unique context of the illegal activity in question, to prevent this activity from taking place. In the case of illegal hunting or harvest of wildlife species, this means preventing biodiversity damage altogether, rather than detecting and punishing the irreparable harm once it has already occurred.

Yellow-naped amazon portrait. Credit: Ondrej Prosicky/Adobe Stock

Credit: Ondrej Prosicky/Adobe Stock


Working hand-in-hand with leading criminologists and with a number of our field-based conservation teams, we have created a toolkit that explains in detail how situational crime prevention works and outlines a comprehensive process that guides conservation practitioners through applying this approach to the problem they are facing.

The toolkit also includes useful resources such as templates, group activities, presentations and facilitator notes that can help teams work effectively together to design, implement and monitor a situational crime prevention approach to tackle their illegal wildlife trade problem.

Inside the toolkit:

  • Toolkit – Using situational crime prevention to address illegal wildlife trade (PDF)
  • Supplementary materials:
    • Toolkit Templates (PDF)(Word)
    • Case Study template (PDF)(Word)
    • PowerPoint slides: How to develop a crime script (for use with Tool 1 in the toolkit)
    • PowerPoint slides: How to develop targeted interventions (for use with Tool 3 in the toolkit)

Situational crime prevention is a tried and tested approach that could enable us to be more effective at addressing illegal wildlife trade. We invite you to apply this toolkit to build targeted, evidence-based interventions to prevent the irreparable harm caused by illegal wildlife trade.

We would also value your feedback on the toolkit – did you find it useful and easy to follow? Did it help you reduce the illegal wildlife trade problem you were facing? Please do send your feedback and questions to [email protected], using our case study template (PDF or Word, and in any language).

Learn more about illegal wildlife trade