Sustainable Development Goals - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Proportion of traded wildlife that was poached or illicitly trafficked

This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from US statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from US statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other US-specific metadata information.

Actual indicator available
Actual indicator available - description
Date of national source publication
Method of computation
Scheduled update by national source
U.S. method of computation
Comments and limitations
Date metadata updated
Disaggregation geography
Unit of measurement
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International and national references
Time period
Scheduled update by SDG team

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.

Indicator name Proportion of traded wildlife that was poached or illicitly trafficked
Target name Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products.
Global indicator description The proportion of traded wildlife that was poached or illicitly trafficked is defined as the proportion of total wildlife seizures to the total wildlife traded as evidenced by export permits issued. The different wildlife products traded and seized are compared by applying an aggregation measure. Concepts: Wildlife is defined as protected wild species of flora and fauna which are legally traded and included in the CITES Appendices. With the exception of Appendix I species, most protected wildlife is legally traded. Poaching is defined as the illegal taking of wildlife for the purposes of international trade. Illicit trafficking is defined as illegal import or export of wildlife. Export Permits are required to export CITES-listed wildlife by every Member State (defined in Article VI of CITES, which regulates the information export permit shall contain and in Resolution Conf. 8.5, in which the Conference of the Parties to the Convention agreed on the information to be included in an export permit. Seizures are the result of confiscation of wildlife or wildlife products by national law enforcement authorities. Seizures occur when law enforcement authorities have suspicion that the wildlife or wildlife product they encounter is obtained or trafficked illegally. Depending on where, when and why national law enforcement authorities seize wildlife and wildlife products, the information about the seized items corresponds more or less to the variables defined by CITES in the export permit. A minimum prerequisite of a seizure report is naming the species (or lowest taxonomic level possible) of the seized specimen. Also the quantity of specimens and the unit of measure are ideally included, as well as the trade term defining the product that is seized. Aggregation measure. The weight and number of seizures cannot be used as an indicator of poaching, because it is meaningless to compare or add the different wildlife products. Since legal trade does occur among all species products, including those listed on CITES Appendix I, it is possible to derive standard prices from import records in a common market and to determine, for example, what the relative value of rosewood is as compared to dried seahorses.
UN designated tier 2
UN custodial agency UNODC; CITES (Partnering Agencies: UNEP)
Link to UN metadata Link opens in a new window
Agency Staff Name
Agency Survey Dataset
Link to data source

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