Wildlife populations around the world are threatened by illegal wildlife trade (IWT) and habitat degradation. The decline in wildlife not only impacts the functioning of ecosystem services but it also reduces natural capital that underpins livelihoods. To respond to increasing threats to wildlife, the Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded, and World Bank-led, Global Wildlife Program (GWP) promotes wildlife conservation and sustainable development in 30 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. By approaching the IWT crisis holistically through 37 approved national projects and a global knowledge platform, the GWP seeks to protect globally threatened species and habitats and reduce both the supply and demand that drives the IWT.

Building on the growing interest and availability of technologies in combating IWT, the GWP has developed an ebook on Conservation Technologies to Combat IWT.

Why did the GWP create the Conservation Technology ebook?

The purpose of the ebook is to showcase a range of conservation technologies that can be adopted by GWP project stakeholders and other interested users in combating IWT. This ebook is not an exhaustive list of technologies in the conservation sector. It is a growing list of technologies that could potentially be applied by projects in combating IWT and monitoring wildlife populations at key sites. The technologies listed here can complement on the ground activities and facilitate the scale-up of solutions through collaborations with technological partners.

How many technologies are in the eBook?

There are 18 technologies showcased in the ebook in the form of “Technology Briefs”, which are categorized into the following themes:

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How do I use the ebook?

If your project would like to adopt a technological solution to help combat IWT – use the ebook to help you find out what options are available. Use the filters/criteria such as conservation issues, locations, implementers, or simply type in keywords that apply to your specific needs and the ebook will display technologies corresponding to the query. You can then read or download the individual technology briefs to find out more about the selected technologies. If no technologies show up, try using one less filter, or click “Show All”.

What about the challenges and barriers that come with implementation of the technology?

We recognize that there are many barriers and challenges in adopting and scaling up technologies. Funding, capacity, concerns around ethics, data privacy and security and the availability of context-specific/ customized solutions are a few such challenges. Also, technologies are only a part of the solution to combating IWT; they cannot replace certain elements requiring human interaction and inference to generate actionable intelligence. Nonetheless, we hope that where possible, technology can help people on the ground (rangers, law enforcement agencies, communities, protected area authorities, consumers, and others) and that you are able to use this ebook to find a solution that works for you.

I have more questions, what should I do?

For any questions, reach out at or visit our website . If you would like to recommend the addition of a technology to the ebook, please email

We would like to thank for their support in helping us share this survey to a wide range of technological partners and all the founders of technologies and their teams for completing survey questions.

What other resources exist on Conservation Technology?

For more detailed information on conservation technologies beyond IWT and a broader view of this growing sector, there are additional resources, including:

I am just learning about technology, where can I find some definitions for terms that are commonly used?

A glossary of technology-related terms can be found below.


A systematic procedure or formula for solving a problem, based on conducting a sequence of a finite number of steps, frequently involving the repetition of an operation. [Ref: TechTarget and Merriam-Webster]

Application Programming Interface

Set of programming code that enables data transmission between one software product and another. It also contains the terms of this data exchange. [Ref: Altexsoft]

Artificial Intelligence

Ability of computers/machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind. [Ref: IBM]

Convolutional Neural Networks

A Deep Learning algorithm which can take in an input image, assign importance (learnable weights and biases) to various aspects/objects in the image, and be able to differentiate one from the other. [Ref: Towards Data Science]

Focused Ultrasound Extraction

Focused, high-pressure acoustic pulses are applied to a target tissue in order to generate a dense cavitation ‘bubble cloud’ capable of disintegrating the tissue into an acellular debris [Ref: Holmes et al., 2020].

Global Positioning System

A global navigation satellite system that provides location, velocity and time synchronization. [Ref: GEOTAB]

Global System for Mobile communications cellular network

A satellite navigation system used to determine the ground position of an object. [Ref:]

Infrared Radiation

Also called infrared light, this is a form of electromagnetic radiation. The infrared spectrum has a wavelength between 700 nanometers and 1 millimeter. [Ref: Safeopedia]


The network of physical objects - “things” - that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet. These devices range from ordinary household objects to sophisticated industrial tools. [Ref: ORACLE]

Iridium satellite network

Iridium is a satellite communications company that offers voice and data connectivity anywhere in the world. Powered by a unique constellation of 66 cross-linked Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, the Iridium® network enables global connections between people, organizations and assets, in real time. [Ref: IMOCA]

Long-Range Wide-Area Network

With a range of up to 10 km in rural areas and 2 km in urban areas, the Long Range Wide Area Network is one of the technologies with the highest range for positioning. The low-power wireless network protocol allows battery-operated devices to wirelessly connect and send data over the internet. [Ref: Favendo and Agriculture Victoria]

Machine Learning

Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) and computer science which focuses on the use of data and algorithms to imitate the way that humans learn, gradually improving its accuracy. It “allows software applications to become more accurate at predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed to do so”. [Ref: TechTarget and IBM]


The automatic recording and transmission of data from remote or inaccessible sources to an IT system in a different location for monitoring and analysis. Telemetry data may be relayed using radio, infrared, ultrasonic, GSM, satellite or cable, depending on the application. [Ref: Stackify]

Tor browser

Short for “The Onion Router”, the Tor browser is a free, open-source web browser that anonymizes your web traffic using the Tor network. By erasing your browsing history automatically with every session and keeping all your traffic encrypted, the browser makes it easy to protect your identity online. Tor works by sending your traffic through three random servers (also known as relays) in the Tor network. [Ref: CSO, VPNOverview, and Tor]

Ultraviolet light

Oortion of the electromagnetic spectrum extending from the violet, or short-wavelength, end of the visible light range to the X-ray region. Ultraviolet radiation is undetectable by the human eye, although, when it falls on certain materials, it may cause them to fluoresce. [Ref: Britannica]

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