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.
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.