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Bryan Christy

Bryan Christy is an investigative journalist and author who has spent years focused on environmental crimes. A Fulbright Scholar, he attended Pennsylvania State University, Cornell University Graduate School, University of Michigan Law School, and the University of Tokyo Law School. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., including in the Executive Office of the President. Mr. Christy is the author of The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers. In researching that book, he was bitten between the eyes by a blood python, chased by a mother alligator, sprayed by a bird-eating tarantula, and ejaculated on by a Bengal tiger. His article, "The Kingpin", exposing wildlife trader Anson Wong, appeared in the January 2010 issue of National Geographic. Visit his website for updates about his work.

Photo by John Heminway

First Ever Fatwa Issued Against Wildlife Trafficking

Indonesia’s top Muslim clerical body has issued a fatwa, or edict, against illegal wildlife trafficking.

United States Tightens the Noose on the Ivory Trade

On Tuesday the Obama Administration announced a national strategy on wildlife trafficking, including new restrictions on the ivory trade designed to create “a near complete ban” on the commercial sale of African elephant ivory in the U.S.

Togo Makes Second Record Ivory Seizure

Last week police in Togo arrested three men and seized the largest shipment of illegal ivory in West African history, breaking a record for ivory seizures from that region set just six days earlier. Officials seized 2.1 tons of ivory on January 29; they had seized 1.7 tons on January 23. According to officials, both…

China’s Ivory Crush Is Important First Step

In a surprising step, China last week became the latest in a growing number of countries to publicly destroy large quantities of ivory to bring attention to the global trade in illegal ivory. From any angle, China’s move has important and positive implications for the fight against an illegal ivory trade that is killing tens of thousands…

China Ivory Prosecution: A Success Exposes Fundamental Failure

Chinese media reported last week that China has convicted a major ivory seller in Fujian and his accomplices for their role in an international ivory trafficking scheme that smuggled nearly eight tonnes of ivory out of Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria. The arrest and conviction of a government-accredited ivory trader by Chinese authorities is a major…

Apostolic Palace Video Exposes Ivory Use

During a week when the world learned that yet again a massive slaughter of elephants has taken place, this time of 89 elephants in Chad, many of which aborted upon being shot, I am struck by this video from ABC World News, which takes us inside the Apostolic Palace that Pope Francis I now calls…

CITES Ivory Policy Is On Drugs

Sunday is opening day for the two-week-long 16th meeting, in Bangkok, Thailand, of the world’s leading body for regulating the world’s wildlife—the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). How will the gathering decide on the issue of legalizing the sale of ivory?

Wildlife Trafficking and Conservation Call to Action: Suggestions for Priorities

National Geographic Contributing Writer Bryan Christy offers observations and suggestions on what the priorities should be for the newly announced U.S. initiative to form a global coalition to protect wildlife in their environments and end the illicit global trade in wildlife goods. “If I could offer only one suggestion on how to reduce wildlife crime, it would be this: Look to the grass roots,” Christy says.

“Blood Ivory” in the Philippines

“Blood Ivory: Ivory Worship” is generating keen interest in the Philippines. The country’s ivory trade has been the cover story of the Philippine newspapers this week and is receiving similar attention across the country, especially on the island of Cebu.

Anson Wong Goes Free

Last week, Anson Wong, the world’s most notorious international wildlife dealer, walked out of a Malaysian prison a free man after a Malaysian Appeals Court reduced his sentence for trafficking wildlife from five years to time served—17 months. Will this prove to be a setback for global wildlife law enforcement? National Geographic correspondent Bryan Christy discusses the implications of the release of Anson Wong.

Wildlife Kingpin Jailed

On Monday, September 6, the world’s most notorious wildlife dealer, Anson Wong of Malaysia, was sentenced to prison after a lock on his suitcase containing legally protected snakes broke on an airport conveyor belt. From the island of Penang, Wong operates one of the world’s largest legal reptile supply companies, which he has used in…