Hidden in plain sight: the online face of the illegal wildlife trade
Having attended the International Conference on Environmental Crime, University of Cardiff, and the Oxford Martin Symposium on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, Laure Joanny summarises the key debates from panellists Anita Lavorgna, Joss Wright and David Roberts, all of whom carry out research into the illicit online trade in wildlife.
Published: Oct 2017 | Categories: Blogs & Opinions
BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, 26th September 2017: John Simpson interviews E.J. Milner-Gulland on the Ivory Trade
On 26th September 2017, John Simpson, CBE, BBC World Affairs Editor, interviewed Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland on the ivory trade for BBC Radio 4's Today Programme. "There is still an increasing trade coming out of Africa for ivory" reports Milner-Gulland. This interview sparked interest in the evening public debate held at St. Catherine's College, Oxford, UK, which took place later the same day: http://www.illegalwildlifetrade.net/2017symposium/debate/
The debate focused on the state of the wildlife trade leading up to the London IWT Conference in 2018 and addressed the many dimensions of the illegal wildlife trade and its consequences, including those arising from accountability, donor interests, evidence-based policy and livelihood concerns of local communities.
Published: Sep 2017 | Categories: Media Coverage
Assessing the extent of access and benefit sharing in the wildlife trade: lessons from horticultural orchids in Southeast Asia
The equitable sharing of benefits from natural resources is a key target of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Trade in its native species is one way in which a country can potentially benefit from its natural resources, and even small-scale traders can now access global markets online. However, little is known about the extent of benefit sharing for many products, and the extent to which the appropriate processes and permits are being used.
Amy Hinsley and David L. Roberts. (2017) Assessing the extent of access and benefit sharing in the wildlife trade: lessons from horticultural orchids in Southeast Asia. Environmental Conservation. Cambridge Core
Published: Sep 2017 | Categories: Research Articles
Attitudes to illegal behaviour and conservation in western Tanzania
Natural resources in and around protected areas in many countries in Africa are under intense pressure as a result of illegal behaviour, such as fishing, hunting and logging. A better understanding of local people's perceptions of the nature of illegal behaviour and the relevance of conservation actions would be useful in informing conservation decisions. We gathered information on the attitudes and perceptions of communities in the vicinity of Ugalla Game Reserve in western Tanzania regarding illegal behaviour and the effectiveness of conservation practices, using household surveys, key informants, and focus groups. We found that local people use the Reserve illegally, especially for hunting (28 ± SE 6%) and logging (20 ± SE 5%). We explored behaviours that are problematic for conservation in the partially protected areas around Ugalla. Local communities reported feeling isolated, harassed and intimidated by approaches used to protect Ugalla. They were angered by the conservation of Ugalla as a trophy hunting site for foreigners, and the excessive force and beatings used by game rangers to keep them away from the Reserve. Improving local livelihoods (17%), participatory conservation (16%), and giving people land for agricultural activities (16%) were among the ways that local communities felt would reduce illegal activities. Our findings suggest the need for conservation measures to benefit local communities around Ugalla transparently and equitably. Outreach programmes would help to raise conservation awareness and attract positive attitudes towards conservation. To encourage local support for conservation, we also suggest that conservation authorities create and maintain good relations with people living near the Reserve.
Wilfred, P., Milner-Gulland, E., & Travers, H. (2017). Attitudes to illegal behaviour and conservation in western Tanzania. Oryx, 1-10. doi:10.1017/S0030605317000862
Published: Sep 2017 | Categories: Research Articles
Trading Ideas: Issue 2
Trading Ideas provides a space for everyone working on the illegal wildlife trade to share information about their conservation projects and research and connect with one another. This issue features articles on: evaluation design of behavior change interventions, CITES and plant trade, wildlife as by-catch trade on the Dark Web, trade of Moroccan reptiles, the effectiveness of celebrities in conservation marketing, consumer understanding and policy implications for the Andean Hairy Armadillo.
Published: Aug 2017 | Download Trading Ideas: Issue 2_english (pdf)
Evaluating the Design of Behaviour Change Interventions: A Case Study of Rhino Horn in Vietnam
Behavioral change interventions are increasingly widely used in conservation. Several projects addressing rhino horn consumption were recently launched in Vietnam. We used key informant interviews, document analysis, and marketing theory to explore their strategies for intervention design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. We developed a framework to evaluate whether they followed best practice and identify implementation challenges. Using best practice from other fields and considering demand reduction within the wider context of wildlife, trade policy will help address these challenges.
Olmedo, A., Sharif, V. and Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2017), Evaluating the Design of Behavior Change Interventions: A Case Study of Rhino Horn in Vietnam. CONSERVATION LETTERS. doi:10.1111/conl.12365
Published: Aug 2017 | Categories: Research Articles
Programme Briefing Aug 2017
The Global Threat To Biodiversity From Wildlife Trade - A Major 21st Century Challenge
E.J. Milner-Gulland (Zoology)
Joss Wright (Oxford Internet Institute)
Published: Aug 2017 | Categories: Reports
Download Illegal Wildlife Briefing (pdf)
The effectiveness of celebrities in conservation marketing
Celebrities are frequently used in conservation marketing as a tool to raise awareness, gen- erate funding and effect behaviour change. The importance of evaluating effectiveness is widely recognised in both marketing and conservation but, to date, little research into the effectiveness of celebrity endorsement as a tool for conservation marketing has been published.
Duthie E, Verıssimo D, Keane A, Knight AT (2017) The effectiveness of celebrities in conservation marketing. PLoS ONE 12(7): e0180027.
Published: Jul 2017 |
Bycatch and illegal wildlife trade on the dark web
The dark web has caught the attention of the conservation community because of the surge in interest in the illegal wildlife trade.
Roberts, D., & Hernandez-Castro, J. (2017). Bycatch and illegal wildlife trade on the dark web. Oryx, 51(3), 393-394. doi:10.1017/S0030605317000679
Published: Jun 2017 | Categories: Research Articles
Wildlife product stockpiles: friend or foe to endangered species?
Amidst the current fervour for combatting illegal wildlife trade, the use of certain policy measures may be confounded by the continued existence of residual legal activities that potentially complicate both enforcement and efforts to change consumer behaviour. For this reason, many activists prefer an uncompromising approach: total prohibition of all forms of legal supply, consumptive use and trade of endangered species products, supported by simple demand reduction messaging to consumers of the ‘just say no’ variety. However, this extreme approach may be neither realistically achievable nor even desirable.
Published: May 2017 | Categories: Blogs & Opinions
FilteredWeb: A framework for the automated search-based discovery of blocked URLs
Various methods have been proposed for creating and maintaining lists of potentially filtered URLs to allow for measurement of ongoing internet censorship around the world. Whilst testing a known resource for evidence of filtering can be relatively simple, given appropriate vantage points, discovering previously unknown filtered web resources remains an open challenge. Authors present a novel framework for automating the process of discovering filtered resources through the use of adaptive queries to well-known search engines. Implementation of this framework, applied to China as a case study, shows the approach is demonstrably effective at detecting significant numbers of previously unknown filtered web pages, making a significant contribution to the ongoing detection of internet filtering as it develops.
Darer, A, Farnan, O and Wright, J et al., (2017). FilteredWeb: A framework for the automated search-based discovery of blocked URLs. 2017 Network Traffic Measurement and Analysis Conference (TMA). https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:6321b48a-9a84-4452-8e2b-9e0ccb59ff67
Published: Apr 2017 | Categories: Research Articles
Trading Ideas: Issue 1
Trading Ideas provides a space for everyone working on the illegal wildlife trade to share information about their conservation projects and research and connect with one another. This issue features articles on: terminology and frameworks of understanding illegal wildlife trade, myths and realities of wildlife trafficking and security, how we are hoping to help understand complexities of the world’s biggest shark and ray fishery, the power of collaborative efforts, how contentious issues may be assessed and under which policy decisions are robust to uncertainty, a synopsis of initiatives in China and Vietnam using commercial marketing campaigns to reduce demand.
Published: Mar 2017 | Download Trading Ideas: Issue 1_english (pdf)
A roaring trade?
Lion bones have now joined elephant ivory and rhino horn as contentious commodities in the wildlife trade policy arena. This follows revelations of a growing export market of bones from deceased captive-bred lions from South Africa to Southeast Asia – and sharply divided opinions over how policy-makers should respond to this. Michael t' Sas-Rolfes talks about the major issues surrounding this contentious topic.
Published: Feb 2017 | Categories: Blogs & Opinions
Programme Launch Report
The Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade was officially launched on December 2, 2016. Almost 50 stakeholders attended the meeting at the Oxford Martin School to celebrate the launch, present the programme's vision and receive feedback and ideas on its development (reflected in this report): http://www.illegalwildlifetrade.net/events/past-events/?event_id1=5
Published: Dec 2016 | Categories: Reports
Download Illegal Wildlife Trade Programme Launch Report
Professors at Oxford Martin Programme hope to tackle illegal wildlife poaching
A RESEARCH hub that merges science and cybersecurity hopes to hone in on illegal wildlife trading.
Published: Oct 2016 | Categories: Media Coverage
Illegal Wildlife Traders Aren't Welcome on the Dark Web
Dark web users are cool with drugs, not so cool with tiger cubs.
Published: Sep 2016 | Categories: Media Coverage
Automatic detection of potentially illegal online sales of elephant ivory via data mining
In this work, we developed an automated systemto detect potentially illegal elephant ivory items for sale on eBay. Two law enforcement experts, with specific knowledge of elephant ivory identification, manually classified items on sale in the Antiques section of eBay UK over an 8 week period.
Hernandez-Castro J, Roberts DL. (2015) Automatic detection of potentially illegal online sales of elephant ivory via data mining. PeerJ Computer Science 1:e10
Published: Jul 2015 | Categories: Research Articles