WCS Wildlife Trade
A Programmatic Website
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Mobile App to Id Illegal Wildlife Products Available

The Wildlife Conservation Society and the DoD Natural Resources Program, through funding provided by the DoD Legacy Program, are pleased to announce the official release of the mobile app Wildlife Alert at www.wildlifealert.com.

· Identifies potentially illegal wildlife products
· Distinguishes illegal wildlife parts from 75 species traded in Afghanistan and the Middle East
· Useable on iOS and Android phones and tablets
· Free to download
· Operates off-line

Military personnel serving in or providing training to those travelling to Afghanistan or the Middle East, particularly those who serve customs duty or ensure military compliance with U.S. and local laws, will find this app particularly useful.

Wildlife Trade and the Military

Caught in the Crosshairs narrated by Edward Norton

Merit Award 2012

International Wildlife Film Festival


Caught in the Crosshairs Cut Down Video (~5 minutes)

Download New Report from January 2012:  
Wildlife trade products available to the military personnel serving abroad
The published article can be accessed at http://www.springerlink.com/content/a922919817tn6ur1/

What are wildlife trade products?

Panoramic photo on Safety day The Wildlife Conservation Society is reducing the demand for products made from threatened or endangered wildlife or containing parts of these animals by educating U.S. military about the consequences of purchasing such products while serving overseas. While deployed or stationed abroad, military personnel like to purchase souvenirs for friends and family and on occasion purchase items for resale in the U.S. Unfortunately, in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan some of the products available in the local markets are made from wildlife protected by international and national laws. It is important to help military personnel distinguish endangered wildlife from the rest and avoid inadvertently purchasing items that might be confiscated by customs or create legal problems by breaking U.S., International, and Military Laws.

The result – U.S. military personnel might unknowingly purchase products which are illegal to purchase, transport across international borders, or resell resulting in confiscation of the items, fines, and potential imprisonment. Furthermore, the demand created by the purchase persuades local vendors to continue or increase hunting which will likely contribute to population declines and possible local extinction.

WCS is partnering with the Department of Defense to inform military personnel of the potential risks to wildlife and to themselves when purchasing wildlife trade items. To do this, WCS is involved in four projects:

Afghanistan Bazaar Surveys
DoD Legacy Work
Fort Drum Survey
Pre-Deployment Trainings

 Fur coats and hats  Blankets and Rugs
Fur coats and hats Blanket and rugs


 Knives with handles carved from bone or ivory  Turtle Shells
Carved ivory or bone Turtle shells


 Horns or Antlers  Taxidermy specimens, including mounted insects/butterflies
Horns or Antlers Taxidermy specimens, including mounted insects/butterflies


 Medicines containing animal parts  Stoles or Shawls
Medicines containing animal parts Stoles or Shawls



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Heidi Kretser, Ph.D.
Wildlife Conservation Society 7 Brandy Brook Ave Saranac Lake, NY 12983 USA
518 891-8872 ext 105

Partners include

Department of Defense Legacy Tracker