The new millennium has seen the major world authorities come into contact with the stark reality of the ever dwindling wildlife population that is falling prey to the hands of the greedy merciless poachers. Congress is passing legislation after another in a bid to save the last remaining species of animals. The United Nations, through her conventions, is getting more and more countries to be signatories to pledges that vow to support the course to protect the game. There is an unprecedented spike in the level of trade in illegal wildlife. The matter of poaching and illegal hunting of game is one that knows no boundaries and does not belong to any one country or continent to fight. Between the years 2007 and 2013, the rate of rhinos that died in the game reserves of South Africa were a staggering 1,004 up from a mere 13, representing a jump of more than 7,000 percent (Brennan & Kalsi, 2015). The figures in the number of Elephants, Rhinos and other wild game that are devoured by the hands of the poachers are threatening to erase decades of gains that have been made in the conservation of wildlife.

In 2011, ivory that weighs more than 23 metric tons was seized in what is supposed to be the largest operation of its kind (Rosaleen, Freeya, Bram, & Dan, 2015). The figure represents the heads of 2,500 elephants that must have lost their lives to the hands of the poachers. Poaching is the major threat of the 3,890 Tigers that remain in the lush green lands of India as the remaining species of their kind. Wildlife crime is a booming business that is run by the dangerous organized crime that use deadly weapons to see to it that they remain untouched by the authorities. By closely examining the works of various scholars this essay takes aim at what exactly the menace of Wildlife Trafficking and poaching that bedevils the world economy is and samples some of the solutions proposed by scholars.

Poaching Wildlife Literature Review

To understand the problem that the menace of wildlife trafficking and poaching causes to the world economy of game, the essay takes a look at various research papers by scholars and what they have had to say about it and the solutions that they have proposed concerning the same. Understanding these works will also create a way for the possible solutions to the problem by looking at what has been done before and proven to work. The problem of poaching is a global affair and hence the scope of it cannot be studied any other way.

Brennan & Kalsi in their research examine the complex social problem that is posed by the matter of poaching of elephants by the use of the economy approach. The essay applies five of the theories of O’Hara’s politically inspired economy (Brennan & Kalsi, 2015). It gives a new perspective of looking at the problem in a way that is rather objective and new in comparison to the other traditional perspectives. The research essentially implies that to stop the trade and the poaching of the ivory it is pivotal to stop the appetite for the market of the ivory (Brennan & Kalsi, 2015).

Sharma, Wright, Joseph, & Desai in their 2014 observe the way that poaching has dealt the tourism industry in India a blow by the way it has reduced the world’s largest Tiger population concentration in a span of less than a millennium (Sharma, Wright, Joseph, & Desai, 2014). The researchers observe that poaching seldom happens alone as they make an analysis of the way that Poaching, destruction of wildlife and destruction of the game habitat usually go hand in hand (Sharma, Wright, Joseph, & Desai, 2014).

Next is research that is keen to note that the sudden rise in the number of dead tigers is not expressly to say that there is an increase in the number of Tiger poaching occurrences. The statistics only seem to remain constant, and it could only mean that more of the cases are being unearthed now than before (Sharma, Wright, Joseph, & Desai, 2014). The researchers here agree that poaching of Tigers is fueled by the availability of the market for Tigers (Sharma, Wright, Joseph, & Desai, 2014). Other notable factors include proximity to the Tiger habitats and the ease of access to these habitats.

Roberts, in his research of 2015, focuses the research on the trade of Ivory, the poaching of elephants and the trafficking of wildlife. Some of the measures taken by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora are looked at in greater detail (Roberts, 2015). This research gives us deeper insight into the matter of poaching and the scope to which it has rooted into the society.

K, et al., in their research examines the way that world life crime is expanding by the day in the international world economy (K, et al., 2013). The researchers here unlike the ones that have been discussed argue that the most effective way of containing animal poaching is to determine where the game is being obtained (K, et al., 2013). The research is vouching for the enactment of stricter rules and laws of law enforcement upon the places where the game is being obtained. They claim that this will deal the countries that deny their poaching problems at home and a way to kill the trade before it enters the international market.

            This research looks at work by Rosaleen, Freya, Bram, & Dan which vouches for the conservation of the natural species. The researchers acknowledge the alarming rate of Rhino and elephant deaths and call for action to be taken before the species become extinct (Rosaleen, Freeya, Bram, & Dan, 2015). The researchers’ link militarization of the anti-poaching agents to the idea that poverty fuels poaching yet poverty and poaching are changing due to the dynamics that are constantly changing in the countries affected by the menace (Rosaleen, Freeya, Bram, & Dan, 2015). The researchers acknowledge the threat that is posed by militant groups like the Al-Shabaab militia. However, unlike many major policymakers, the researchers seem to disagree with the notion that poaching is primarily driven by the militant groups like the Al-Shabaab (Rosaleen, Freeya, Bram, & Dan, 2015).

Finally, the research looks at the work by Chen, which begins by isolating the factors that threaten game life in their natural habitats. The researchers mention poaching, climate change, loss of habitat, and the illegal trafficking of wildlife as some of the factors that lead to the loss of wildlife in their natural habitats (Chen, 2016). The researcher alludes to the way high value is placed on the wildlife and game products when they are considered rare. The researcher hence seems to curve a proposition that the more legislation is placed against the poaching of wildlife the higher the value chain they climb in the black market. Hence, the more the risk the poachers are willing to take (Chen, 2016).

Illegal Wildlife Trade

It is agreed that to deal with the problem of poaching effectively then the world governments have to agree on the way to kill the appetite of the ivory in especially Asian countries like China that act as the biggest market for the sale of ivory.   In a seeming rejoinder Sharma, Wright and Joseph agree that there needs to be a mechanism to kill the international appetite for tiger game for the trade in the sale of tiger body parts to die (Sharma, Wright, Joseph, & Desai, 2014). One of the most effective ways of ending the trade is hence to deal with the market, and the source will die a natural death.

It is a consensus across all the researchers whose works have been sampled for this research that poaching and the illegal trade in ivory is a major disaster that the 21st-century world political economy has had to deal with (Brennan & Kalsi, 2015).

One researcher alludes to the way high value is placed on the wildlife and game products when they are considered rare. Perhaps it is the time that world politics change their tact in the way they choose to handle the matter of poaching. Chen seems to curve a proposition that the more legislation is placed against the poaching of wildlife the higher the value chain they climb in the black market. Hence, the more the risk the poachers are willing to take (Chen).

The matter of poaching of wildlife is one that has caught the attention of all the major world powers. The world is scared at the pace at which the poachers are sending the wild game into extinction. Poachers not only kill the wild animals but their habitats as well. In the same way, they are interfering with the natural ecological system. It is hence crucial that the world turns their attention to the matter and stop it before the poachers get the upper hand.


Brennan, A. J., & Kalsi, J. K. (2015). Elephant poaching & ivory trafficking problems in Sub-Saharan Africa: An application of O’Hara’s principles of political economy. Ecological Economics, 120(26), 312-337.

Chen, F. (2016). Poachers and Snobs: Demand for Rarity and the Effects of Antipoaching Policies. Conservation Letters, 9(1), 65-69.

K, W. S., Celia, M., Benezeth, M., Mathews, S., Clark, J., Drori, W., & Emily, S. K. (2013). Combating the Illegal Trade in African Elephant Ivory with DNA Forensics. Conservation biology the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology, 22(4), 1065-1071.

Roberts, A. M. (2015). Detailed look at the Ivory Trade and the Poaching of Elephants. Quinnipiac Law Review, 33(3), 567-580.

Rosaleen, D., Freeya, J., Bram, B., & Dan, B. (2015). The militarization of anti-poaching: undermining long term goals? Environmental Conservation., 14(4), 345-348.

Sharma, K., Wright, B., Joseph, T., & Desai, N. (2014). Tiger poaching and trafficking in India: Estimating rates of occurrence and detection over four decades. Biological Conservation, 179(3), 33-39.



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