The Endangered Species Protection Agency (ESPA) is a non-profit organization established in the United States (USA) in August 2016 and in the United Kingdom (UK) in February 2014.
Its main aim is to significantly reduce the illegal trade (i.e. ivory trade) in endangered species by disrupting criminal enterprises through the provision of customized services and personnel to anti-poaching operations and investigations.
ESPA works within international law parameters and local enforcement procedures: it has no political allegiances, and its commitment to the preservation of endangered species is absolute.
The Endangered Species Protection Agency USA Foundation, (ESPA USA) is a non-profit organization, with 501(3)(c) status, to identify and provide funding opportunities in support of ESPA UK’s initiatives and services, that aim to protect endangered species and their custodians.
ESPA USA acts primarily as the fund-raising arm of the operational ESPA based in the UK.
In the 1990’s, army veteran Harry Taylor, became deeply involved in an operation in Southern African countries to stop criminal gangs trading in rhino horn. The operation was high risk but also very successful. A specialist police unit was created and a number of park rangers were trained to continue fighting this type of corruption. Unfortunately, funding ran out and the operation was terminated. A journalist, named Peter Carr, was following the story and reached out to Harry for more information about the operation and the widespread illegal trafficking of endangered species. From that meeting came the idea to form a nonprofit whose mission is to deliver effective measures that ensure a more secure and sustainable future for endangered species and their custodians. The Endangered Species Protection Agency (ESPA) was established as a result and has begun its fight against wildlife crime. ESPA Foundation USA is a 501(c)(3) public charity and all donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.