Project Predator targets the illegal poaching and trade in Asian tigers and other big cats, including leopards, snow leopards, clouded leopards and Asiatic lions.

The issues

Tigers and other Asian big cats are on the brink of extinction. The greatest threat comes from criminals who control an illegal trade that spans countries and continents. Tigers and other Asian big cats are illegally killed or poached due to the high value of their fur on the black market, and the demand for their body parts for traditional medicines.

Profits from these illegal activities are also linked to fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, other kinds of smuggling, violence and extortion. The illegal trade in tigers is one of the most high-profile, destructive and urgent forms of wildlife crime.

The response

Project Predator aims to increase communication, coordination and collaboration between high-level enforcement experts and managers from tiger-range countries, drawing upon national and international strengths, resources and expertise.

The enforcement response needs to employ advanced, intelligence-led methods of investigation and to engage the whole criminal justice system. The response must target the individuals and networks who control this illegal trade, bring them to justice, and seize any assets obtained through their crimes.

These efforts were given further momentum by the resolution adopted at the 2014 INTERPOL General Assembly which urges member countries to raise awareness among law enforcement authorities of environmental crimes and violations, their causes and their impact.

Countries and partners involved

The project works closely with the Asian big cat range countries and dedicated wildlife enforcement networks. It seeks to harness political will, transform it into departmental support, and train law enforcement officers in the necessary skills.

  • Countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Main funders: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and US State Department.
  • International organizations: ICCWC, the World Customs Organization, the World Bank’s Global Tiger Initiative, SAWEN and ASEAN-WEN.
  • NGOs: IFAW, Freeland Foundation, WWF/TRAFFIC.

Project activities

  • Stimulate intelligence-led investigations;
  • Gather, analyse and share intelligence;
  • Promote the use of INTERPOL’s global police databases;
  • Support international law enforcement operations;
  • Assist with the forensic processing of poaching scenes and seizure sites;
  • Bridge the gaps between arrests, investigations and prosecutions;
  • Host training courses and investigative planning meetings;
  • Develop a strategic and tactical analytic report on tiger crime;
  • Encourage the creation of National Environmental Security Task Forces (NESTs);
  • Maximize existing partnerships and develop new ones;
  • Strengthen the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) as an institution and connect it to INTERPOL’s secure global police communications network(I-24/7).
Project Predator - News
20 November 2015

INTERPOL meeting aims to develop strategy to curb tiger crime

23 October 2015

Strategy to combat illegal wildlife trade in Central Asia marks International Snow Leopard Day

29 July 2015

On Global Tiger Day, INTERPOL commends member country efforts to protect the species

05 June 2015

INTERPOL operation against wildlife trafficking marks World Environment Day

03 March 2015

INTERPOL encourages global action on World Wildlife Day

19 December 2014

Hundreds of animals seized in operation targeting wildlife trafficking across Asia

29 July 2014

On Global Tiger Day, INTERPOL renews pledge to defend the species

03 April 2014

INTERPOL report highlights need for greater operational response to preserve tigers

29 July 2013

INTERPOL observes International Tiger Day with renewed commitment to protecting the species

12 July 2013

INTERPOL meeting strengthens response to wildlife crime in Southeast Asia

05 July 2013

INTERPOL meeting in South Asia aims to improve wildlife crime investigation skills

21 December 2012

Use of intelligence in environmental investigations focus of INTERPOL training in Nepal

04 December 2012

INTERPOL operations in Asia lead to seizure of live tigers and other protected species

24 October 2012

USAID funding for INTERPOL-led wild tiger protection campaign supporting South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network

19 October 2012

China hosts its first National Environmental Security Seminar with INTERPOL support

18 September 2012

INTERPOL launches National Environmental Security Task Force initiative

29 July 2012

INTERPOL wildlife operation results mark Global Tiger Day

14 February 2012

World’s remaining wild tiger range countries agree on police and customs enforcement measures for nearly-extinct species

07 October 2010

Illegal tiger trade targeted by international operation co-ordinated by INTERPOL

03 December 2009

INTERPOL and CITES hold wildlife enforcement course to combat tiger poaching