By tracking and preventing wildlife poaching, governments can severely interrupt a major revenue source for terrorist groups, according to a recent report by the non-profit Stimson Center, which researches issues related to international security and weapons of mass destruction.
Among the terrorist organizations known to traffic in killing and sale of illegal animal parts are the Lord's Resistance Army, based in Uganda and South Sudan, and Al Shabaab, a Somalian offshoot of Al Qaeda.
The center estimates that both groups bring in millions of dollars per year through the wildlife trade.
African militant groups in particular profit from poaching, because “elephant tusks and rhino horns are sold at extraordinary prices – $50,000 a pound for rhino horns on the black market,” according to the study.
The Center recommends the employment of advanced statistical methods and data analysis to map the illicit trade in animal parts worldwide.
In addition, governments should improve “coordination (with) groups focused on conservation, development and security to fight poaching and wildlife crime.”
Read the full report HERE.