Wildlife Crime Caught on Camera

A photographer spent a decade shooting the horrors of the animals that we catch, keep, or kill.

December 15, 2014

Patrick Brown went undercover, buying items like fake tiger claws, elephant ivory, and bear paws to gain his sources’ trust. Then he pulled out his weapon of choice, his camera, to fight the illegal trade of wildlife. The photographer released the shutter and exposed the sellers, their products, and their illicit behavior. For 10 years, Brown documented this multibillion-dollar black-market business from Bangkok to New York City, hoping to help eliminate what he calls one of the most serious problems of our time: the selling of endangered or threatened species for souvenirs, pets, and traditional medicines. The collection is part of a new book, Trading to Extinction.

Photo: Patrick Brown

Photo: Patrick Brown

onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

onEarth Story

The same technology used to detect heat in the cosmos may help endangered populations lift off.

onEarth Story

Thanks to new tech, scientists can learn a heck of a lot about species without ever seeing or handling them.

onEarth Story

Satellites can help scientists keep track of these endangered birds at the bottom of the world.

Western Dispatch

The Beaver State is one of just two in the nation where illegal animal kills are addressed by the police.

Join Us

When you sign up you'll become a member of NRDC's Activist Network. We will keep you informed with the latest alerts and progress reports.