From Monday the social media network will send a warning alert to anyone who searches a hashtag that could be associated with "harmful behaviour to animals or the environment."
The new message also warns users that "animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts is not allowed on Instagram."
“The protection and safety of the natural world are important to us and our global community. We encourage everyone to be thoughtful about interactions with wild animals and the environment to help avoid exploitation and to report any photos and videos you may see that may violate our community guidelines,” Instagram wrote on their blog.
“We are committed to fostering a safer, kinder world both on Instagram and beyond the app. If you’d like to learn more about endangered wildlife and exploitation, visit World Wildlife Fund, TRAFFIC and World Animal Protection.”
The move comes after an investigation by National Geographic and World Animal Protection into wildlife tourism, which uncovered animals being taken illegally and sold for selfies with tourists.
World Animal Protection's Cassandra Koenen told engadget, that although it doesn’t really act as a deterrent it does help raise awareness to tourists who aren’t that great at determining attractions that treat mistreat animals.
"If someone's behaviour is interrupted, hopefully, they'll think, maybe there's something more here, or maybe I shouldn't just automatically like something or forward something or repost something if Instagram is saying to me there's a problem with this photo.”