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World Wildlife Crime Report 2024

Over 140,000 Wildlife Seizures Recorded from 2015 to 2021 

In its third edition of the World Wildlife Crime Report, which covers data from 2015 to 2021, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime provided an overview of government seizures of illicitly trafficked plants and animals and associated criminal activities. A key finding is that over 40% of 1,652 animal species seized are classified as “threatened” or “near threatened.” 

World Wildlife Crime Report 2024
  1. Of the over 4,000 total plant and animal species recorded in the seizures, 1,652 of them were mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. 

  1. Over 40% of the 1,652 species were classified as “threatened” or “near threatened” according to the IUCN Red List, including birds (206 out of 751), mammals (231 out of 444), reptiles (190 out of 405), and amphibians (23 out of 52).  

  1. Mammals had the highest percentage of being subjected to intentional harvest (73% of 444), followed by amphibians (62% of 52), reptiles (59% of 405), and birds (31% of 751). 

  1. Some 83 species out of the 1,255 live species (mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians) seized were listed as invasives. 

  1. The top three animal species affected by illegal wildlife trade based on standardized seizure index are rhinoceros (29%), pangolins (28%), and elephants (15%). For plant species, the top three are cedars and other Sapindales (47%), rosewoods (35%), and agarwood and other Myrtales (13%). 

  1. Corals and “others” had the highest percentage shares of seizure records, both at 16%. This is followed by crocodilians (9%) and elephants (6%). 

  1. The shipping origin of most seizure records (56%) was unspecified or unknown. This is followed by Sub-Saharan Africa (19%) and South Asia (9%). 

  1. Top individual commodities by percentage of seizure records were coral pieces (16%), live specimens (15%), and medicines (10%). 

  1. Global cocaine seizures have been increasing from 901 tons in 2015 to 2,098 tons in 2021. 

  1. Methamphetamine seizures in East and Southeast Asia have almost tripled from 64 tons in 2015 to 172 tons in 2021, although it decreased by 1 ton from 2020. 



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