A conservation group says South Sudan's wildlife and other natural resources are being threatened by an alarming expansion of illegal exploitation and trafficking.

The Wildlife Conservation Society said in a statement Thursday that, working alongside local partners, it has documented a sharp rise in illegal activities — including ivory trafficking and illegal logging — in many parts of the country. It said the activities are being perpetrated by local as well as international individuals, including members of armed forces active in the country.

It said there's concern for many vulnerable species in the country, including elephant and giraffe.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 when a fight among the armed forces in the capital, Juba, boiled over into a rebellion in many parts of the country.