Greg L. Warchol


On his book Exploiting the Wilderness: An Analysis of Wildlife Crime

Cover Interview of March 04, 2018


There are not many books describing the illegal wildlife trade. I hope that my work enlightens the reader about the nature and severity of this crime and what is done to control and prevent it. The news about poaching in Africa is often very discouraging. Recent reports of large-scale elephant and rhinoceros poaching can lead one to believe that these animals will disappear from nature. Wildlife populations do recover if poaching can be mitigated. Many new conservation initiatives, including those based on crime theory, can and are helping to prevent the problem. More young university professors beginning their careers are interested in this subject and exploring solutions. Some of the traditional criminological theories used to explain street crimes are being applied to explain green or conservation crimes.

I strongly hope that the book inspires students to become interested in wildlife conservation law and policing. I am using the book in my current university class on wildlife conservation criminology. I hope that it informs students about the problem of wildlife trafficking and encourages some to seek careers in this field, either with a government or nongovernmental agency.

Finally, I would like to have this book read by government policy makers. Wildlife crime is a highly lucrative transnational crime. It ranks in the top three or four types in terms of profit—tens of billions of dollars annually—for criminal enterprises. Some lawmakers may have the view that poaching just involves a few species in select nations. However, nearly any species that can be used for food, decoration, building materials, medicines, clothing, or as a pet is subject to illegal exploitation. The book helps explain how extensive this crime is. The loss of wildlife not only affects the species targeted for the trade, but it represents the loss of valuable economic assets for developing nations dependent on eco-tourism and natural resources.