Prince William told guests at a wildlife reception in New York that Western nations could look "closer to home" to remedy the problem of the illegal trade in exotic animal products.
The 32-year-old royal said "iconic species are being "illegally butchered in the name of trinkets and medicine".
China will want to know what Prince William will say when he visits China after he spoke out against the illegal wildlife trade, an expert told ITV News.
The country is the world's biggest destination for illegal ivory fulled by the belief it is an aspirational possession and a remedy in Chinese medicine.
ITV's China Correspondent Lucy Watson has this report:
A British-backed international taskforce has been set up to help tackle animal poaching.
In a speech on the issue, Prince William said the taskforce will work with the transport industry to see how it can play its part in shutting down wildlife trafficking routes.
He added some members of the private sector were already leading the way by banning sharking fins on planes, whether they were obtained legally or not.
The prince said the taskforce would also build on the work done by INTERPOL, who recently issued a list of nine fugitives most wanted for environmental crime.
Prince William gave a speech urging the global community to act on the issue of illegal wildlife trading during a royal trip to the US.
The Duke of Cambridge addressed the World Bank in Washington ahead of the UN's Anti-Corruption Day on Tuesday.
He said in his view one of the most insidious forms of corruption in the world today is poaching, adding: "I was inspired by my grandfather and father, who have championed international conversation for over 50 years."
Prince William said the trade is now the fourth most lucrative in the world after drugs, arms and human trafficking.Read the full story ›
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The Duke of Cambridge will begin his US tour by calling on nations to take action over the trade in illegal animal parts in an important speech in Washington today.
William will call wildlife crime one of the world's "most insidious forms of corruption" in the address at the World Bank Group's International Corruption Hunters Alliance Conference.
He will make the speech after meeting President Barack Obama and vice president Joe Biden at the White House.
"Our collective goal must be to reduce the wildlife trade by making it harder: denying traffickers access to transportation, putting up barriers to their illegal activities, and holding people accountable for their actions," he will say.
"Those who look the other way, or spend the illicit proceeds of these crimes, must be held to account."
William will be joined by former foreign secretary William Hague, who hosted the Government's London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade in February.
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