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On the Front Lines: Fighting Wildlife Trafficking with Shawn Karns

Posted by ADF Solutions on February 27, 2024
ADF Solutions

In a captivating conversation, Shawn Karns, co-founder of the Wildlife Investigators Training Alliance (WITA), pulls back the curtain on the world of wildlife trafficking and the ongoing fight to protect endangered species. His passion for wildlife conservation shines through as he delves into the devastating impact of this illegal trade on communities, biodiversity, and even global health.


More than just poachers and ivory: Karns reminds us that wildlife trafficking extends far beyond poachers and elephant tusks. It's a complex web of organized crime, corruption, and exploitation that fuels environmental degradation and threatens public health.

Building bridges, not walls: Collaboration is a recurring theme. Karns emphasizes the critical role of organizations like WITA in training law enforcement professionals, fostering communication across international borders, and building trust with local communities. He highlights the importance of community policing and forging relationships with rangers on the front lines, who face immense challenges in their fight against transnational crime.

The power of knowledge: Technology emerges as a valuable tool in the fight against wildlife trafficking, aiding in investigations, tracking illegal activities, and raising awareness. However, Karns also acknowledges the psychological toll it can take on those involved, emphasizing the need for coping mechanisms and support systems.

From awareness to action: Concluding the conversation, Karns offers a call to action for individuals who want to make a difference. He encourages us to be informed consumers, supports environmentally-conscious organizations, and considers volunteering or pursuing a career in wildlife conservation.

Certainly! Here's an extended conclusion that expands upon the call to action:

From awareness to action: a ripple effect of change: Shawn Karns' message transcends mere awareness. It's a call to ignite a ripple effect of change, starting with each individual. Remember, every action, no matter how small, contributes to a larger movement. Here are some ways you can make a difference:

  • Be a conscious consumer: Research the companies you support and prioritize those committed to ethical sourcing and sustainable practices. Choose products with eco-friendly certifications and avoid those linked to deforestation or wildlife exploitation.
  • Raise your voice: Educate yourself and others about the issue of wildlife trafficking. Share informative articles, documentaries, or podcasts with your network, sparking important conversations.
  • Support organizations like WITA: Donate directly or participate in fundraising campaigns. Volunteer your time and skills, supporting those on the front lines.
  • Advocate for change: Contact your local representatives and urge them to support legislation that strengthens wildlife protection and combats illegal trade.
  • Join the conversation: Participate in online forums, social media groups, or local conservation initiatives. Connect with others who share your passion and work together to amplify your voices.

Remember, the power to create change lies within each of us. By choosing to be informed, responsible consumers and active advocates, we can collectively tip the scales in favor of a world where wildlife thrives, and our planet flourishes. This fight isn't just about protecting endangered species; it's about protecting the delicate balance of our ecosystem and ultimately, ourselves. 

Watch The Interview with Shawn Karns

Topics: Human Trafficking, Wildlife Trafficking

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