Journalist Rachel Nuwer plunges the reader into the underground of illegal wildlife trade: to killing fields in Africa, traditional medicine black markets in China, and wild meat restaurants in Vietnam. Through exhaustive first-hand reporting that took her to a dozen countries, Nuwer explores the forces currently driving demand for animals and their parts; the toll that demand is extracting on species across the planet; and the conservationists, rangers, and activists who believe it is not too late to stop the impending extinctions. More than a depressing list of statistics, Poached is the story of the people who believe this is a battle that can be won, that our animals are not beyond salvation. 

First place winner - American Society of Journalists and Authors general non-fiction category. Gold winner - Nautilus Book Awards journalism and investigative reporting category. Winner for the Santa Monica Public Library Green Prize for Sustainable Literature.


"Poaching has reached crisis proportions, and Rachel Nuwer pursues this story to places few journalists go. The result is a vivid and urgent book." -- Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction

"A revelation of a book: Rachel Nuwer pulls back the curtain of dry statistics to reveal the illegal and sordid world of wildlife trafficking as well as the valiant efforts to stem the tide. A firsthand account that is hard to put down."  -- Thomas E. Lovejoy, George Mason University

"Our planet's most iconic species - particularly African elephants - are facing devastating declines because of poaching. This is an important book that should inspire all of us to action." -- Paul G. Allen, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist


Bonus Chapters

Some conservationists tout drones as a silver bullet for stopping poaching in Africa. Others say they are a useless waste of money. Rachel Nuwer travels to Malawi to investigate.

The complete story of Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino. Although Sudan passed away in March 2018, efforts to save his subspecies from extinction continue.