Wildlife crime can take many forms and it can be difficult to know what constitutes a crime. This page can help you to recognise the signs
Read about some of the Acts and legislation that protects wildlife and wild places in the UK
European legislation protects some of our most spectacular wildlife. Learn more about the Habitats & Birds Directives
Flamborough Cliffs (c) Kirsten Smith
Learn about the important International Conventions, which protect wildlife here and worldwide
Cley Marshes (c) Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Wildlife laws are in place to protect nature; these laws operate at UK and European levels. Learn what constitutes a wildlife crime and how you can report it.
What is wildlife crime?
Wildlife crime includes:
- killing protected species
- disturbing protected species
- damaging the breeding and resting places of protected species
- illegally trading in endangered species
For further information on how identify a wildlife crime, take a look here.
How to report
If you suspect that a wildlife crime has been committed, call 101, the non-emergency number. If you would like to give information regarding a crime anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
If you're unsure whether an act constitutes wildlife crime, seek advice from a legal professional or specialist organisation. Many police forces have Wildlife Officers, whilst statutory bodies such as DEFRA and Natural England, may also be able to help.
Be aware that you should always seek qualified legal advice if you are seeking to avoid prosecution or intending to bring a prosecution.
The Wildlife Trusts is a member of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAWS UK). PAWS UK helps statutory and non-government organisations to work together to combat wildlife crime.
Find out more