Book Review: Poached – Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking by Rachel Love Nuwer

In “Poached” the  award winner Science journalist, Rachel Love Nuwer, investigates the international trade in illegal wildlife, detailing how demand for exotic goods such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and pangolin scales is being met through the human stories that are  endangering the survival of iconic wildlife and of those trying to fight back.  

The risk to our wildlife comes from human demand for exotic pets, jewellery, medicine, meat and trophies, which is driving a worldwide poaching epidemic. It also comes from growing human populations that put even greater pressure on land required to sustain many species.

The author travels to the front line in this struggle to hotspots in Africa, including Tanzania and South Africa, to China, Laos and Vietnam where supply and demand economics drive this trade to investigate and provide insights to better understand the dynamics involved. 

Whilst cataloguing the crises being witnessed by many involved in the protection and conservation of some of our most precious wildlife, there are positive stories too. The voices that are calling for more action are more numerous and louder than ever before, and those voices are being heard. With the fight back underway, and new offensive as well as defensive measures deployed, we are starting to treat the illegal trade in wildlife as an international criminal issue and not just a conservation one. 

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