Wildlife Witness

Established in 2013 by the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, Wildlife Witness is the first global community action mobile app geared towards fighting against illegal wildlife trade. By allowing tourists and locals alike to report suspected illegal wildlife trading, Wildlife Witness is able to garner evidence to pass along to TRAFFIC, the leading global non-governmental organisation monitoring the trade. Available on both Android and Apple devices, the app gives users the power to snap a picture of the trade or item in question, geo-tag its location, and submit the report to the Wildlife Witness servers. Reports require information on the type of trade, location and species affected, as well as how many animals were involved. The app additionally provides users with an issue-based map, which is a curation of all the submitted user reports. Despite proliferating a large amount of information to its community, Wildlife Witness does not appear to have a solid quality control mechanism, and rather places its trust in the legitimacy of user submissions. Aside from its reporting mechanisms, Wildlife Witness also provides information on species highly affected by the trade on their platform, focusing on the Sun bear, elephants, rhinos, tigers and pangolins amongst other highly trafficked species. Integrating citizens into the fight against illegal wildlife trade provides valuable assistance and field information to those on its frontlines. 

Kretser, H., Stokes, E., Wich, S., Foran, D., & Montefiore, A. (2017). “Technological Innovations Supporting Wildlife Crime Detection, Deterrence, and Enforcement“.


Biodiversity, Citizen Science, Data, Illegal Resource Extraction, Internet of Things, Monitoring, Visual Technologies