Biodiversity has become a topic of study in a variety of disciplines. Within criminology the study of biodiversity loss is often emphasized in the poaching literature. However, an alternative perspective on the political economy of biodiversity loss exists within criminology. While both approaches to biodiversity provide important information for the discipline of criminology, the implications of those approaches have very different implications for environmental discourse related to poverty and social justice. We suggest that poaching studies be viewed with caution as there is a possibility that those studies can be used to ‘blame the poor’ for biodiversity loss.