Whistle-Blowing Website Wildleaks Targets Powerful Poaching Networks

Written by Megan Treacy

Wildleaks, a new website in the vein of WikiLeaks has set its sights on taking down powerful poaching networks and illegal logging operations. The site says it is the first anonymous and secure whistle-blowing site dedicated to wildlife and forest crime and it couldn’t come any sooner.

Poaching has skyrocketed in recent years as the black market for rhino horn, elephant ivory and tiger parts has grown rapidly. A large part of these transactions are controlled by poweful networks of wealthy traffickers that have previously been untouchable.

The anonymous and secure nature of Wildleaks lets people give tips on poaching activity while staying safe themselves.

After it launched in February, WildLeaks received its first tip within 24 hours. To date the project has gotten over 45 tips and leaks, with at least 28 deemed to be useful, including tiger poaching in Sumatra, illegal logging in Russia and Mexico and even wildlife products being smuggled into the U.S.

“We got, for example, a very interesting leak on a very powerful individual in Kenya, linked to the government, who is behind the ivory trade,” said founder Andrea Crosta, a former security consultant and longtime conservationist.

The site is able to protect whistleblowers by using encryption and anonymity software. The tips and reports are then turned over to people who can take action against these crimes like law enforcement agencies or trusted conservation organizations that specialize in those areas.

The site is targeting large poaching and trafficking operations because the founders believe it will make the greatest difference.

“Unlike others operating in the field… we are not after small-time poachers or traffickers, but the people above them, including corrupt government officials,” Crosta said.

No arrests have been made yet as investigations take time, but the founders know that the more people who know about the site, the better chance they have of stopping some of these networks and saving endangered animals.

This post originally appeared on TreeHugger.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

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101 comments

Jim Ven
Jim Ven7 months ago

thanks for the article.

Lyn Sellars
Lyn Sellarsabout a year ago

The more people + organizations that get involved with this the better...The word needs to be spread to as many corners of the world as possible...Tell everyone....Shout it from the rooftops, only then can we stop these atrocities from happening to our wildlife. Give them no places to hide...Expose them all...

Angela P.
Angie P.about a year ago

Anything to save the animals and catch the poachers. Thank you Wildleaks.

Mike H.
Mike H.about a year ago

Thank you wildleaks for your important work

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H.about a year ago

i really hope this site is successful and turns into a great deterent for the poachers. But I believe that the punishment still needs to fit the crime. Thanks for sharing.

Graham Parker
Graham P.about a year ago

A step in the right direction.I know a few people that should have their actions reported on Wildleaks!!!

Jean Grifiths
JeanisAWAY G.about a year ago

Fantastic news, hope it helps.

Jean Grifiths
JeanisAWAY G.about a year ago

Fantastic news let's hope this helps. Fingers Crossed.

Erin H.
Erin H.about a year ago

Interesting article, thank you!

Dianne D.
Dianne D.about a year ago

Love it, but I'm sure there are many posts on this site to throw officials off track.