1st Edition

Poaching, Wildlife Trafficking and Security in Africa Myths and Realities

Edited By Cathy Haenlein, M L R Smith Copyright 2017

    A worldwide surge in poaching and wildlife trafficking is threatening to decimate endangered species. This crisis also threatens the security of human beings in ways ignored until recently by decision-makers slow to begin to treat what is typically viewed as a ‘conservation issue’ as serious crime.

    Over the past decade, as the scale and profitability of poaching and wildlife trafficking have grown, politicians, journalists and campaigners throughout the world have begun to take notice – they are offering striking appraisals of the threat posed not only to endangered species but also to human populations. Many of these appraisals, however, are made in the absence of a detailed body of empirical research and analysis to underpin them. The result is the growth of a range of myths and misperceptions around the security threats posed, particularly as they relate to Africa.

    Poaching, Wildlife Trafficking and Security in Africa examines the most common narratives on poaching, wildlife trafficking and security. It critically analyses the dominant discourses on poaching and wildlife trafficking as threats to human security, as drivers of conflict, as funders of terrorism and as a focus for organised crime. In doing so, it seeks to sort myth from reality, to clarify how poaching and wildlife trafficking, as much cited threats to security, can most accurately be conceived. Such a study is crucial to the efforts of stakeholders now rightly looking to respond not just to the threat posed to endangered species, but also to the security and wellbeing of human beings.

    Introduction, Cathy Haenlein and M L R Smith

    1. Poaching, Wildlife Trafficking and Human Security, Rosaleen Duffy and Jasper Humphreys

    2. Poaching, WildlifeTrafficking and Conflict, Stéphane Crayne and Cathy Haenlein

    3. Poaching, Wildlife Trafficking and Terrorism, Cathy Haenlein, Thomas Maguire and Keith Somerville

    4. Poaching, Wildlife Trafficking and Organised Crime, Tim Wittig

    Conclusions, Cathy Haenlein and M L R Smith


    Cathy Haenlein is Research Fellow in RUSI’s National Security and Resilience Studies group and Research Associate in King’s College London’s Department of War Studies as part of the Marjan Centre for the Study of War and the Non-Human Sphere.

    M L R Smith is Professor of Strategic Theory and Head of the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. He is co-founder and Academic Director of the Marjan Centre for the Study of War and the Non-Human Sphere at King’s College London.