TRAFFIC was established as a specialist group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission
in 1976, with the first TRAFFIC International office and TRAFFIC USA formed in 1979.
Further TRAFFIC offices were established as follows: UK (1980), East Africa (1980-82), Germany (1981), Japan (1982), Australia (1984), Netherlands (1984), Belgium (1984), Austria (1986-1990), Italy (1986) and France (1987), South America regional office (1985), TRAFFIC Oceania (1987), TRAFFIC Europe (1990), TRAFFIC Southeast Asia (1991), TRAFFIC India (1991), South Africa (1992), Taipei (1992), Tanzania (1992), Kenya (1996), TRAFFIC East Asia (1994), Russia (1995), Canada (1998), TRAFFIC South America (1999), Mexico (2000). TRAFFIC North America evolved into a regional TRAFFIC North America office in 1998, and the Viet Nam office evolved into a sub-regional Indochina office in 2001.
Some key moments in TRAFFIC's history
- 1978: TRAFFIC completes a major study of trade in seal products.
- 1979: TRAFFIC research on trade in skins of wild cats provokes intense discussions at the meeting of CITES Parties.
TRAFFIC compiles a comprehensive overview of “International trade in wildlife”.
The TRAFFIC Bulletin, the only international journal devoted exclusively to the wildlife trade issues, is launched.
- 1983–4: the TRAFFIC Bulletin publishes major studies on Indian bird, elephant ivory, European seal skin and reptile skin trades.
- 1986–88: TRAFFIC undertakes an extensive review of the implementation of EU wildlife trade regulations that leads ultimately to the emergence of a new EU law which is considered one of the most comprehensive in the world.
- 1992: TRAFFIC develops the Bad Ivory Database System (BIDS) to hold worldwide records of ivory seizures and confiscations. In 1994 it becomes the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS), and is adopted by CITES.
- 1993: TRAFFIC publishes a review of the European medicinal plant trade, and begins to asses the impact of this trade on wild plant populations and local health care systems.
Following an investigation by TRAFFIC, the largest seizure of tiger bones ever recorded is made in India: 283 kg tiger bones, 8 tiger skins and 60 leopard skins.
- 1994: TRAFFIC publishes “Killed for a cure: a review of the worldwide trade in tiger bone”.
- 1995: In response to an undercover TRAFFIC investigation, London Metropolitan Police seize several hundred traditional Chinese medicines purporting to contain endangered species in London, as part of “Operation Charm”.
- 1996: TRAFFIC assists in investigations leading to arrests and seizures of ivory and shahtoosh shawls, in India.
TRAFFIC publishes a review of the caviar trade from the Caspian Sea. A year later all sturgeon species are listed in the CITES Appendices.
- 1997: TRAFFIC reviews rhinoceros trade control legislation and presents the results to CITES.
Following a TRAFFIC tip-off, law enforcement officials seize 140 shawls in Hong Kong. The dealer receives the highest financial penalty ever for a single charge of violating Hong Kong's Animal and Plants Ordinance.
- 1998: Following TRAFFIC research on medicines in Canada and the USA claiming to contain tiger and rhinoceros ingredients, the US Congress passes the Rhino and Tiger Product Labeling Act.
Studies by TRAFFIC reveal a twentyfold increase in the live reptile trade in the US.
- 1999: Celebrites join TRAFFIC in calling for an end to shahtoosh trade, following the release of a report entitled “Fashion statement spells death for Tibetan antelope”.
- 2000: TRAFFIC assists with intelligence leading to the seizure of four tiger, 70 leopard and 221 blackbuck skins, and 18,000 leopard nails in India.
- 2001: TRAFFIC completes a study on musk deer farming in China.
TRAFFIC raises concerns over the exploitation of Patagonian and Antarctic Toothfish, particulalrly by illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) vessels.
- 2002: TRAFFIC releases a report on European sports hunting revealing that most of the income it generates does not benefit the countries where it takes place.
A joint WWF-TRAFFIC report reveals links between organised criminal gangs and illegal wildlife traffickers.
- 2003: A TRAFFIC report details alarming levels of illegal trade in snow leopards parts, particularly pelts.
- 2007: A major report into Tiger farming finds that legalizing the trade would create demand, leading to increased poaching of wild Tigers
At CITES CoP14, Parties adopt by concensus a Decision to ban the raising of captive tigers for trade, and China is urged to phase out its large-scale commercial tiger farms.
Just prior to CITES CoP 14, TRAFFIC ETIS report reveals the alarming levels of ivory poaching and the link to organized crime.
- 2008: A new report by TRAFFIC shows that lack of meat for refugees leads to large-scale poaching.
'Healing power from nature', a film produced by TRAFFIC/WWF about medicinal plants, wins an international award.
A TRAFFIC report reveals how well managed wildlife trade can benefit poor communities.
Investigations by TRAFFIC and WWF reveal worrying gaps in US regulations which could make captive tigers a target for illegal traders.
- 2009: New analysis by TRAFFIC sounds the alarm over scale of Central African bushmeat trade.
A TRAFFIC study shows that Sumatran Orang-utan populations are being devastated by illegal trade.
TRAFFIC develops novel methods to detect wildlife traps. India is one of the first coutries to take up these methods.
A report released by TRAFFIC shows elephants face threat from soaring ivory prices in Vietnam.
- 2010: Sustainable wild plant harvesting proves a global success, reports TRAFFIC.
A new TRAFFIC study of seized trafficker's notebooks gives a unique insight into scale of illicit pangolin trade.
Dogs trained by TRAFFIC and WWF to detect illegal wildlife specimens successfully help to apprehend two poachers.
TRAFFIC analysis uncovers that more than 1,000 tigers have been poached in the last decade.
- 2011: TRAFFIC's key work with local womens' groups hopes to solve wildlife trade issues in the Amazon.
The Medicinal Plants Programme, jointly co-ordinated by TRAFFIC, WWF and IUCN, wins a prestigious award.
TRAFFIC and WWF's 'On Borrowed Time' wins best film at Eco Film Fest.
TRAFFIC finds that illegal bear bile trade is rampant in Asia.
- 2012: TRAFFIC launches 'WANTED: ALIVE' campaign to save big cats.
TRAFFIC partnership launches new app to fight Cambodian wildlife trafficking.
TRAFFIC and WWF respond to soaring poaching levels with a successful new Wildlife Crime Campaign.
A new TRAFFIC investigation reveals that four leopards a week enter India's illegal wildlife trade system.
- 2013: A follow up study to 'Reduced to Skin and Bones' by TRAFFIC illustrates the scale of persistent illegal tiger trade.
TRAFFIC takes steps to engage youth in marine turtle protection with new programme.
TRAFFIC and IUCN co-publish "Vital but vulnerable: climate change vulnerability and human use of wildlife in Africa's Albertine Rift".
A new report co-authored by TRAFFIC and WWF finds Europe's last wild sturgeons are threatened by ongoing illegal fishing and caviar trade.
- 2014: Over 1000 frontline officers receive beneficial training in TRAFFIC's ground-breaking course on wildlife trade and species identification.
Market surveys conducted by TRAFFIC find a disturbing increase in Thai ivory market.
EU-TWIX reaches 40,000 entries landmark
- 2015: TRAFFIC headquarters moves to the David Attenborough Building in central Cambridge
TRAFFIC AND CITES
EU-TWIX celebrates 10th anniversary : groundwork laid for establishement of AFRICA-TWIX
Consumer behaviour Change leading to Demand Reduction strategies implmented in Viet Nam and China
High-level political statements made to address illegal wildlife trade through UN Resolution and China-Africa (FOCAC) summit
Memorandums of Understanding signed with Alibaba and Tencent
Meet key members of the TRAFFIC team.