Role of non-governmental organizations in combating illegal wildlifepet trade in Peru Academic Article uri icon


  • 2014 Elsevier GmbH. Illegal trade in wild animals for pets is a global conservation and animal-welfare concern. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with different philosophical perspectives toward wildlife work to decrease illegal trade at international and national levels. Our objective was to examine the efforts of conservation and animal-welfare NGOs working to decrease illegal wildlife-pet trade for domestic markets in Peru. We identified 28 NGOs potentially engaged in reducing the trade, and conducted semi-structured interviews with 1 representative from each (N=33 interviews). Only five NGOs, each with a strong dual-perspective toward wildlife that prioritized both wildlife populations and individual wild animals, demonstrated high effort to decrease illegal wildlife-pet trade. These dual-perspective NGOs incorporated anti-trade efforts in all four work categories we identified (i.e., outreach, advocacy, development, and husbandry). Using thematic analysis of interview transcripts, we determined that dual-perspective interviewees were motivated to combat the trade by concern for individual animals and populations-in essence, their moral pluralism. Overall, interviewees considered the government lax with enforcement of wildlife legislation. Interview data suggest that the dual-perspective NGOs' persistent efforts have decreased illegal wildlife-pet trade in two regions of Peru. We recommend that stakeholders and governments searching for collaborators to help curb illegal trade consider approaching NGOs with programs involving conservation of wildlife populations and individual wild animal welfare. We urge the scientific community to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies under different ecological and socio-economic conditions to assist on-the-ground efforts to decrease illegal wildlife-pet trade.

published proceedings

  • Journal for Nature Conservation

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Daut, E. F., Brightsmith, D. J., & Peterson, M. J.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Daut, Elizabeth F||Brightsmith, Donald J||Peterson, Markus J

publication date

  • April 2015