discussion / Wildlife Crime  / 24 October 2017

Good Reads?


What are good books about the Trade and Wildlife Crime? I'll start with

LIZARD KING - by Bryan Christy - this was a really good book because it points out the scale of reptile smuggling, but also it shows a lot of the techicques the smugglers use. I have found this to be very informative and influential on how I approach this problem.

Shell Games: rogues smugglers and the hunt for natures bounty by Craig Welch I am curretnly only on chapter 3, but it is interesting. It focuses on geoduck in the Pacific northwest so is local in focus. So far a good read.

Any others?



Hi Michael,

What a great question! Here's a few of my favorites:

1. Animal Underworld: Inside America's Black Market for Rare and Exotic Species  - This book is a bit dated (1999), but it offers a fascinating firsthand account into the exotic wildlife market in the US. It gives great context to the current situation of captive-bred wildlife and the differing legal systems at the time regarding ownership. 

2. Forbidden Creatures: Inside the World of Animal Smuggling and Exotic Pets - This one was also a really good read. The bit about pythons was really interesting. 

3. Stolen World - This was a fascinating book on rivalries in species collecters, and provided great context for the current reptile market in the US.

4. Killing for Profit - This book exclusively looks at the illegal rhino horn trade. I haven't read it, but I've been meaning to. 

5. Animal Investigators: How the World's First Wildlife Forensics Lab is Solving Crimes and Saving Endangered Species - This book was a great introduction to how forensics are being used in combatting wildlife crime.

6. Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution - Not particularly crime related, but it shows different avenues that are being taken to restore species and populations, which can be involved in recovering populations threatened by wildlife crime.

I'll add more as I think of them, but this should be a good start. 


Hi Again-

John those are great suggestions. Thanks - I like your quick synopsis of each book.

I have changed the subject of this thread from Good Books to Good Reads  because yesterday there was a piece in WIRED by Richard Conniff called CHASING THE ILLEGAL LOGGERS LOOTING THE AMAZON FOREST. This is a great piece about checking if timber is NOT coming for the declared areas of cutting. Think about this - we always try to prove the positive, but in this case, they need to demonstrate that timber is not being cut where they say it is. Fascinating stuff.

Link: https://www.wired.com/story/on-the-trail-of-the-amazonian-lumber-thieves/



Just to keep this thread alive, John's mention above 2. Forbidden Creatures: Inside the World of Animal Smuggling and Exotic Pets -  is an interesting look because it is from the consumer perspective. Peter Laufer talks alot about ownership, and why people want to get an animal that will be so large it may eventually kill you. He talks alot about the difference between wild and domestic. THere are some good thoughtful discussiions within. 

Keep posting any new reads.