Scientists at the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, in a paper published in Conservation Letters, are calling for resources to be directed to a broader range of long-term conservation strategies, which go beyond regulation and intensifying enforcement effort.
Bold strategies are required to conserve high-value species such as the African elephant, tiger and pangolins, co-authors Dan Challender and Douglas MacMillan said.
Regulatory approaches are being overwhelmed by the drivers of poaching and trade, with organized criminals having the capacity to operate even under increased enforcement effort, they said.
"In the immediate future we should incentivize and build capacity within local communities to conserve wildlife," Challender said. "Current enforcement measures are proving unsuccessful and more needs to be done to bring local communities, which live in close proximity to the species on-board, by rewarding them for conserving wildlife."