The use of advanced investigative and surveillance tactics has resulted in great success for us so far. GPS tracking devices, for example, have greatly changed the landscape of conservation and protection. These devices can be placed inside ivory and other illegal animal trophies, illegally harvested logs, or even on vehicles.

Illegal loggers will often cut down a number of trees and return for them later. Poachers often employ a similar strategy: they will shoot the animal and leave the scene to ensure their escape, and the perpetrators or other conspirators will return for the parts at a later time.

In the past, rangers would respond to the dead animal or fallen trees and stand guard, waiting to ambush the criminals or simply deter them from returning. In that case, rangers may arrest a lowlevel scout or syndicate member sent to retrieve the parts, but usually the criminals know they’re being watched and evade arrest.

With tracking devices, we can drill a small, inconspicuous hole and place a device inside the contraband. Rangers can respond quietly, set the device, then retreat and allow the criminals to return for their illegal items without knowing they are being watched and followed. We then can track these illegal items up the criminal chain, making high-level arrests along the way. In some cases we can track items all the way to the shipping containers that export illegal goods in bulk.