A Comparative Analysis of Wildlife Trafficking in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom

Image courtesy of Flickr, Wildlife Alliance

Author/s (editor/s):

Tanya Wyatt

Publication year:


Publication type:

Working paper

Find this publication at:
TEC Working Paper 6/2013

Tanya Wyatt, ‘A Comparative Analysis of Wildlife Trafficking in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom’, TEC Working Paper 6/2013, Canberra: Transnational Environmental Crime Project, Department of International Relations, Australian National University, September 2013.

Wildlife trafficking is a major black market, and is thought to be the second most profitable illicit market after drug trafficking. It has significant negative impacts on species, ecosystems, and biodiversity. After habitat loss, wildlife trafficking is the leading cause of extinction. It is also a threat to food industries and human health with its connection to disease transmission. The patterns of wildlife trafficking vary throughout the world and nations approach the prevention of it differently. The differences that exist raise the question as to why the levels differ between nations that appear to be similar. This is the case with the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, which are demographically similar with a significant shared cultural history. Yet New Zealand has high levels of wildlife trafficking, Australia low levels, and the UK somewhere in between. This research uses the trade database from the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to explore all the illegal trade incidents of these three countries reported to CITES from its creation in 1973. Combined with a review of the literature, the paper investigates the differences and similarities in the wildlife that is traded and the legislation that is implemented. It appears that more regulation in this instance may be connected to decreased levels of wildlife trafficking.

About the author

Tanya Wyatt is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Prior to her career in academia, she was a law enforcement officer in the United States for nearly five years and a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine at a human trafficking prevention centre. Tanya has a BA in Biology from Mills College in Oakland, California, an MA in Criminology from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan and a PhD in Criminology from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. Her research focuses on green crimes, particularly wildlife trafficking and animal welfare, and these crimes’ intersection with organised crime, corruption, and terrorism. Her research has been published in Global Crime, Contemporary Justice Review, Crime, Law and Social Change and Deviant Behavior. Her book Wildlife Trafficking: A Deconstruction of the Crime, the Victims and the Offenders is available from Palgrave Macmillan.

Updated:  1 October 2023/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team