This article takes a political ecology approach to understanding the integration of conservation with security in tackling the illegal wildlife trade. It builds on political ecology debates on militarization by connecting it to the dynamics of global environmental politics, specifically the discursive and material support from donors, governments, and conservation nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The combined effects of a highly competitive funding environment and security concerns of governments has produced a context in which NGOs strategically invoke the idea of the illegal wildlife trade as a security threat. For donors and governments, tackling the illegal wildlife trade is a means through which they can address security threats. However, this has material outcomes for marginalized peoples living with wildlife, including militarization, human rights abuses, enhanced surveillance, and law enforcement.