Anti-poaching and biodiversity crime measures
The Western Cape’s status as one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, with high levels of endemic species, is a double-edged sword. While we are proud to attract tourists from all over the world to marvel at our province’s natural beauty (such as the Cape Floral Kingdom), the rarity of many of the fauna and flora makes us a prime target for biodiversity criminals – some involved in sophisticated organised crime syndicates, others simple hobbyists and researchers.
Poaching and biodiversity crime is widespread in the Western Cape, from poachers looking for the rare geometric tortoise to plant experts who target rare succulents and proteas for lucrative export purposes.
This is where CapeNature’s Biodiversity Crime Unit comes in. It aims to prevent the illegal trading of animals and plants in the province by providing the public with information on biodiversity crime, while responding to reports of illegal activities, working closely with the South African Police Service and prosecuting authorities to bring wildlife criminals to book.
Furthermore, the unit helps national organisations combat biodiversity crime through its work with the National Biodiversity Investigators’ Forum and the National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit.