The illicit traffic in live great apes and body parts, whether for international pet trade, demand from zoos, bushmeat consumption or for use in medicine or cultural ceremonies, represents a considerable threat to the species’ survival. GRASP works with CITES, INTERPOL, EAGLE Network and other prominent actors to strengthen the legal protection of great apes by improving national legislation and law enforcement efforts, promoting successful prosecutions, and highlighting existing gaps and opportunities to further improve the legal environment.

In collaboration with the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, GRASP launched the Great Apes Seizures Database in 2016. It is the first global system to gauge the scale and scope of poaching and illegal ape trade. The database is an online reporting tool designed to assist national authorities, civil society and businesses to monitor and act on illegal trade in live animals, body parts and bush meat. The database is continuously being updated, alongside planning of a more extensive Phase 2, which will further enhance the technical and analytical functionalities, as well as the geographic and sectoral scope of the data collected.