Britain will provide an additional £6 million to counter the poaching trade threatening some of the world’s most most endangered species.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said the funding would support projects that protect at-risk wildlife while creating sustainable livelihoods for the vulnerable human communities around them.
Officials said the species that stood to benefit from the UK support included elephants, rhinos and pangolins.
The announcement comes as the government prepares to host an international conference on the illegal wildlife trade opening in London on Thursday.
Ms Mordaunt said: “The illegal wildlife trade threatens to make some of the planet’s most extraordinary species extinct.
“It also destroys the livelihoods of some of the world’s poorest people, robbing communities of the great economic benefits of wildlife, including tourism.
“UK aid is giving fresh life to projects, whose aim is to protect these species and secure the futures of communities.
“This is a win for those communities and a win for animal lovers across the world. None of us want to see these majestic animals dying out.”
Projects already supported by UK aid money include a counter-poaching training programme in sub-Saharan Africa and project to reduce demand for pangolin products in south-east Asia by debunking the false medicinal value of their scales.
Environment Secretary, Michael Gove added: “Environmental challenges do not respect borders, and require coordinated international action.
“Our Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund is driving change to combat this despicable criminality and highlights our global leadership in protecting wildlife in its natural environment.”