Beyond banning wildlife trade: COVID-19, conservation and development
    One of the immediate responses to COVID-19 has been a call to ban wildlife trade given the suspected origin of the pandemic in a Chinese market selling and butchering wild animals. There is clearly an urgent need to tackle wildlife trade that is illegal, unsustainable or carries major risks to human health, biodiversity conservation or meeting acceptable animal welfare standards. However, some of the suggested actions in these calls go far beyond tackling these risks and have the potential to undermine human rights, damage conservation incentives and harm sustainable development. There are a number of reasons for this concerns. First calls for bans on wildlife markets often include calls for bans on wet markets, but the two are not the same thing, and wet markets can be a critical underpinning of informal food systems. Second, wildlife trade generates essential resources for the world’s most vulnerable people, contributing to food security for millions of people, particularly in developing countries. Third, wildlife trade bans have conservation risks including driving trade underground, making it even harder to regulate, and encouraging further livestock production. Fourth, in many cases, sustainable wildlife trade can provide key incentives for local people to actively protect species and the habitat they depend on, leading to population recoveries. Most importantly, a singular focus on wildlife trade overlooks the key driver of the emergence of infectious diseases: habitat destruction, largely driven by agricultural expansion and deforestation, and industrial livestock production. We suggest that the COVID-19 crisis provides a unique opportunity for a paradigm shift both in our global food system and also in our approach to conservation. We make specific suggestions as to what this entails, but the overriding principle is that local people must be at the heart of such policy shifts.
    D Roe, A Dickman, R Kock, EJ Milner-Gulland, E Rihoy, M ’t Sas-Rolfes 2020 Beyond banning wildlife trade: COVID-19, conservation and development, World Development, Volume 136
    Published: Jul 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    A synthesis of (non‐)compliance theories with applications to small‐scale fisheries research and practice (Open Access)
    Non‐compliance in fisheries is a persistent challenge for the conservation and sustainable management of the oceans and has particularly acute impacts in small‐scale fisheries contexts. Small‐scale fisheries often suffer from chronic overexploitation, poor management, lack of enforcement and non‐compliance, but small‐scale fishers are highly dependent on the ocean as a source of employment and food. Improving our understanding of the determinants of non‐compliant behaviours in small‐scale fisheries can help develop strategies to prevent and reduce its consequences. Here, we review two main approaches for the study of non‐compliant behaviours and crimes more broadly, spanning criminology, economics and psychology. On the one hand, actor‐based approaches address the underlying motivations for people to comply or not with regulations. Opportunity‐based approaches, on the other hand, assume that non‐compliance is not distributed randomly across space and time and focuses on the role that the immediate environment plays in the performance of non‐compliant behaviours. We discuss potential applications of actor‐based and opportunity‐based approaches in guiding small‐scale fisheries non‐compliance research. Moreover, we provide guiding principles for integrating these approaches in a complementary way, highlighting opportunities and challenges for building a better non‐compliance research agenda for fisheries and beyond. Addressing non‐compliance is a common challenge for natural resource management in multiple ecosystems. Integrating these two perspectives has the potential to improve both research and practice.
    Oyanedel, R, Gelcich, S, Milner‐Gulland, EJ. (2020) A synthesis of (non‐)compliance theories with applications to small‐scale fisheries research and practice. Fish and Fisheries; 21: 1120– 1134.
    Published: Jul 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    Wild assumptions? Questioning simplistic narratives about consumer preferences for wildlife products (Open Access)
    1. That wildlife consumers prefer wild products to farmed alternatives is a widely reported finding in the conservation literature. These reported preferences for wild products have been interpreted as evidence that farming and associated trade undermine conservation efforts. These conclusions have then been used to influence policy recommendations and the design of conservation interventions related to use of farming itself, as well as to underpin consumer behaviour change campaigns. 2. However, for many species and products, the wild versus farmed narrative is based on assumptions that over‐simplify consumer behaviour and can lead to conclusions that do not recognize the complexity of real wildlife markets. These assumptions include the notions that consumers of the same products have homogeneous preferences, that wild and farmed are the only distinct product types available, and that these preferences do not change over time. 3. We highlight the difficulty in linking stated preferences and real‐world behaviour, due to confounding factors. A consumer who typically prefers wild products may be deterred by factors such as legality, high prices or even simple availability. 4. We recommend that researchers embrace these complex markets rather than trying to simplify them, and clearly state the limitations of studies that try to make the connection between stated preferences and actual behaviour. This includes considering the full range of products available, what or who might influence the actual purchasing decision a consumer makes, and the diversity of people who may buy wildlife products. 5. Considering this complexity is likely to improve evidence‐based recommendations for the design of large‐scale conservation interventions and policy changes. This will ensure that these interventions are better able to reduce the negative impacts on biodiversity from illegal and unsustainable trade, and promote sustainable trade that can benefit both people and wildlife.
    Hinsley, A, 't Sas‐Rolfes, M. (2020) Wild assumptions? Questioning simplistic narratives about consumer preferences for wildlife products. People and Nature. 2: 972– 979
    Published: Jun 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    Saiga horn user characteristics, motivations, and purchasing behaviour in Singapore.
    Unsustainable wildlife trade is a pervasive issue affecting wildlife globally. To address this issue, a plethora of demand reduction efforts have been carried out. These necessitate consumer research which provides crucial knowledge for designing and evaluating targeted interventions. We implemented a rigorous consumer survey on saiga (Saiga tatarica) horn use in Singapore, where usage is legal and widely sold. Saiga are Critically Endangered antelopes from Central Asia with horns (often marketed as ling yang) used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Few past studies have assessed saiga horn consumers. This work is the most extensive consumer research to date specifically characterising saiga horn consumers and usage. We conducted 2294 in-person surveys on saiga horn use with Chinese Singaporeans, employing neutral questioning approaches. We found 19% of individuals reported saiga horn as a product they choose most often for themselves and/or others when treating fever and/or heatiness (a TCM state of illness), indicating a minimum estimate of high-frequency usage, not including possible low-frequency users. Overall saiga users were most characterised as middle-aged Buddhists and Taoists. However, saiga users were found in a range of demographic groups. Women preferred saiga shavings (the more traditional form), while men preferred saiga cooling water (the more modern form). About 53% of individuals who used saiga horn themselves also bought it for someone else. Buyers for others were most likely to be female middle-aged Buddhists or Taoists. Key motivating reasons for usage were “it works” and “someone recommended it to me.” The top two reported recommenders were family and TCM shopkeepers. Saiga users were more likely than non-saiga users to perceive saiga as a common species in the wild. This research holds significance for interventions targeting saiga horn consumption within Singapore and throughout Asia, by identifying potential target audiences, product types, non-desirable alternatives, and motivations for use.
    H Doughty, D Veríssimo, R Tan, J Lee, R Carrasco, K Oliver, EJ Milner-Gulland (2019). Saiga horn user characteristics, motivations, and purchasing behaviour in Singapore. PLOS ONE. 
    Published: May 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    Rangers and modellers collaborate to build and evaluate spatial models of African elephant poaching
    Globally, tens of thousands of wildlife rangers patrol wide areas and record evidence of poaching activity such as elephant carcasses and snares. Such data have significant potential to inform conservation, but patrols are non-random in space and time, so conclusions from raw patrol data may be biased. Here we model spatial patterns of elephant poaching based on detections of carcasses by ranger patrols in the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe (201 carcasses, 2000–2017), using different methodological scenarios to correct for patrol bias. We follow a participatory modelling framework, using interviews with practitioners (rangers and managers) to help build and evaluate these models. We found that poaching patterns in the bias-corrected scenarios differed among themselves and from the uncorrected scenario. Practitioners interrogated the credibility of the predictions in each scenario and thus helped discern true poaching patterns from those explained by patrol bias. We uncovered proximity to water as the strongest driver of poaching, likely reflecting both poacher and elephant behaviour. Our results show that it is essential to account for observer bias before developing management actions (such as ranger patrol strategies) from raw observational data. We further demonstrate the value of combining multiple lines of evidence (statistical models and interview responses) for more robust inference in the face of uncertainty.
    Kuiper, T., Kavhu, B., Ngwenya, N.A., Mandisodza-Chikerema, R., Milner-Gulland, E.J., 2020. Rangers and modellers collaborate to build and evaluate spatial models of African elephant poaching. Biol. Conserv. 243, 108486.
    Published: May 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    Assessing the impact of regulations on the use and trade of wildlife : An operational framework , with a case study on manta rays
    Overexploitation represents a significant threat to wildlife, with the severest impacts felt by slow growing, economically valuable species. Governments often seek to address this through regulating utilisation and trade of species, which is commonly catalysed by multi-lateral environmental agreements (MEAs) such as the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). However, it is often unclear to what degree CITES and associated regulations lead to tangible conservation outcomes. Robust impact assessments are needed to understand whether regulations are effective for achieving biodiversity conservation goals, and to learn lessons for future policy interventions. Yet such assessments are hindered by data paucity, bias, complexity and uncertainty. Here we discuss key challenges for assessing the impact of regulations on the use and trade of wildlife, and offer a practical approach to overcome them. Our approach combines an integrated framework for collating and analysing disparate and methodologically inconsistent data with a robust process to establish causal inference (and hence assess impact). This framework and process can be applied to any regulation, species or country context. To demonstrate its utility we apply this approach to the case of manta ray utilisation and trade (Mobula alfredi and M. Birostris) in Indonesia. This case study is particularly important due to the recent increase in the number of commercially important elasmobranchs listed in CITES appendices, with Parties adopting various national-level regulations to implement their CITES commitments. However, it is unclear to what degree these listings lead to meaningful regulatory reform, and much-needed reductions in fishing mortality, utilisation and onward trade. Indonesia is also a priority country for effective regulatory reform, due to its role as a major source country for international elasmobranch trade. Overall, we highlight challenges and opportunities for assessing the impact of wildlife trade regulations, which are generalisable across species and contexts, and provide the first attempt to assess the impact of such regulatory change on manta ray mortality in a source country. We also offer recommendation for future implementation and evaluation, emphasising the importance of mixed-methods, multiple datasets, and explicit acknowledgement of bias and complexity.
    Booth, H. et al. (2020) ‘Assessing the impact of regulations on the use and trade of wildlife : An operational framework , with a case study on manta rays’, Global Ecology and Conservation. Elsevier Ltd, 22, p. e00953. doi: 10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e00953.
    Published: May 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    Belt and Road Initiative may create new supplies for illegal wildlife trade in large carnivores
    Southeast Asia is a major hub of illegal wildlife trade, with supplies arriving from many parts of the world. Most west and central Asian countries have hitherto been less engaged in this supply chain1, possibly because of remote locations, less-developed transportation networks and easier availability of other sources of supply, but China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has the potential to dramatically change that situation. The planned BRI and its southern tributary, the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor, traverse key habitats for large carnivores, which are highly marketable species in China and Southeast Asia. By creating new access to wildlife and supply corridors, the BRI poses a significant risk of increasing illegal wildlife trade in the region.
    MS Farhadinia, A Maheshwari, MA Nawaz, H Ambarlı, MA Gritsina, ...Belt and Road Initiative may create new supplies for illegal wildlife trade in large carnivores Nature ecology & evolution 3 (9), 1267-1268
    Published: May 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    Quantifying the trade in wild-collected ornamental orchids in South China: Diversity, volume and value gradients underscore the primacy of supply
    Despite the grave threat illegal wildlife trade poses to species survival, few studies have attempted to link supply and demand data for the same wildlife product. All ca. 29,000 orchid species are listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and many are protected under domestic legislation too, but a growing body of evidence suggests that orchids continue to be subject to unsustainable harvesting and undocumented trade. South China is a known black spot for trade in wild-collected ornamental orchids but understanding of the drivers determining the flow of species diversity, volume and value remains wanting. We conducted systematic monthly surveys at five markets along a West-East transect from Yunnan to Hong Kong for one year, recording variables including species, numbers of individuals, weight and price. Although wild orchid diversity is highest in Yunnan, the diversity of orchids in trade increased eastwards and mean price per stem rose more than four-fold, albeit always significantly cheaper than that for artificially produced hybrids. Part of this trade appears to be in breach of CITES. Few orchids in trade conformed to six criteria highlighted in prior demand-side studies as being of higher utility value, but most conformed to a combination of four or more, suggesting that vendors can readily offer products that meet a majority of consumer preferences. Effective supply-side regulation, through government intervention and social media campaigns, is needed to facilitate behavioural change and allow artificially propagated plants to compete in the market-place.
    SW Gale, P Kumar, A Hinsley, ML Cheuk, J Gao, H Liu, ZL Liu, ...Quantifying the trade in wild-collected ornamental orchids in South China: Diversity, volume and value gradients underscore the primacy of supply Biological Conservation 238, 108204
    Published: May 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    Illegal Wildlife Trade: Scale, Processes, and Governance
    Illegal wildlife trade (IWT) has increased in profile in recent years as a global policy issue, largely because of its association with declines in prominent internationally trafficked species. In this review, we explore the scale of IWT, associated threats to biodiversity, and appropriate responses to these threats. We discuss the historical development of IWT research and highlight the uncertainties that plague the evidence base, emphasizing the need for more systematic approaches to addressing evidence gaps in a way that minimizes the risk of unethical or counterproductive outcomes for wildlife and people. We highlight the need for evaluating interventions in order to learn, and the importance of sharing datasets and lessons learned. A more collaborative approach to linking IWT research, practice, and policy would better align public policy discourse and action with research evidence. This in turn would enable more effective policy making that contributes to reducing the threat to biodiversity that IWT represents.
    Illegal Wildlife Trade: Scale, Processes, and Governance M ‘t Sas-Rolfes, DWS Challender, A Hinsley, D Veríssimo, ... Annual Review of Environment and Resources 44, 201-228
    Published: May 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    Building sustainability into the Belt and Road Initiative’s Traditional Chinese Medicine trade
    A little-known aim of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is ‘people-to-people cultural exchange’, including active promotion of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in BRI countries. On a global scale, this is likely to increase both TCM demand and the sourcing of wildlife-based TCM ingredients from new areas. Any rapid increase in wildlife demand risks exacerbating illegal and unsustainable trade but, with careful management, BRI–TCM could also present opportunities for well-governed supply chains, creating sustainable livelihoods for rural harvesters. With China reaching out to BRI countries to cooperate on the marketing, registration and promotion of TCM products, there is now a critical short-term window for the identification of these risks and opportunities, and to ensure that sustainability is built into these markets from the start. Promotion of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) will accompany China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This Perspective notes the potential risks and advocates open-eyed cooperation to build sustainability into this expanding TCM market.
    Building sustainability into the Belt and Road Initiative’s Traditional Chinese Medicine trade A Hinsley, EJ Milner-Gulland, R Cooney, A Timoshyna, X Ruan, TM Lee Nature Sustainability, 1-5
    Published: May 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    Horizon Scan of the Belt and Road Initiative
    The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) represents the largest infrastructure and development project in human history, and presents risks and opportunities for ecosystems, economies, and communities. Some risks (habitat fragmentation, roadkill) are obvious, however, many of the BRI’s largest challenges for development and conservation are not obvious and require extensive consideration to identify. In this first BRI Horizon Scan, we identify 11 frontier issues that may have large environmental and social impacts but are not yet recognised. More generally, the BRI will increase China’s participation in international environmental governance. Thus, new cooperative modes of governance are needed to balance geopolitical, societal, and environmental interests. Upgrading and standardising global environmental standards is essential to safeguard ecological systems and human societies.
    AC Hughes, AM Lechner, A Chitov, A Horstmann, A Hinsley, A Tritto, ... Horizon Scan of the Belt and Road Initiative. Trends in Ecology & Evolution
    Published: May 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    Motivations for (non‐) compliance with conservation rules by small‐scale resource users
    Understanding compliance with conservation rules is key for biodiversity conservation. Here, we assess compliance and its underlying motivations in a small‐scale fishery in Chile. We adapt a framework originally developed for forestry to unpack compliance motivations at within‐individual and between‐individuals levels while accounting for contextual factors. We find that 92–100% fishers comply with temporal or gear rules, while only 3% comply with the quota limit. Legitimacy‐based motivations are more important in explaining why individual fishers comply with temporal/gear rules than they are for compliance with the quota. At the between‐individuals level, we find that normative motivations are significantly related to the degree of non‐compliance with the quota. Contextual factors such as quota levels are key in explaining broader non‐compliance patterns. Our results suggest that considering compliance at appropriate analytical levels is necessary to unpack motivations, guide local and national natural resource management policies, and move toward a better theory of compliance.
    Oyanedel, R., Gelcich, S., & Milner‐Gulland, E. J. (2020). Motivations for (non‐) compliance with conservation rules by small‐scale resource users. Conservation Letters, e12725.
    Published: May 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    Marine and Fisheries Policies in Latin America: A Comparison of Selected Countries
    This book reviews the frameworks and implementation of marine, fishery and coastal laws and policies in Chile, Mexico and Peru. Chile, Mexico and Peru share biodiverse coastal and marine environments which are being affected by unregulated and informal developments, and thus share similar challenges. Each country is currently at a different stage of advancement in their institutional response to these complex challenges. By providing a comparison of the frameworks, approaches and overall implementation of policies and laws, this book acts as a tool to influence and inform further efforts in conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, particularly fisheries, in these countries and others in Latin America and the Caribbean. A broad range of issues are covered including food security, tourism, fisheries, oil and mineral extraction from the seabed, wind power, coastal and marine pollution and endangered species conservation. The chapters compare how each country addresses these issues from an institutional, legal and policy perspective. The book concludes by identifying common lessons, reoccurring challenges and develops scalable recommendations applicable to the case study countries and the wider region.
    Muller, M. R., Oyanedel, R., & Monteferri, B. (2019). Marine and Fisheries Policies in Latin America: A Comparison of Selected Countries. Routledge.
    Published: May 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    Emerging illegal wildlife trade issues: A global horizon scan (Open Access)
    Illegal wildlife trade is gaining prominence as a threat to biodiversity, but addressing it remains challenging. To help inform proactive policy responses in the face of uncertainty, in 2018 we conducted a horizon scan of significant emerging issues. We built upon existing iterative horizon scanning methods, using an open and global participatory approach to evaluate and rank issues from a diverse range of sources. Prioritized issues related to three themes: developments in biological, information, and financial technologies; changing trends in demand and information; and socioeconomic, geopolitical shifts and influences. The issues covered areas ranging from changing demographic and economic factors to innovations in technology and communications that affect illegal wildlife trade markets globally; the top three issues related to China, illustrating its vital role in tackling emerging threats. This analysis can support national governments, international bodies, researchers, and nongovernmental organizations as they develop strategies for addressing the illegal wildlife trade.
    Esmail, N, Wintle, BC, t Sas‐Rolfes, M, et al. Emerging illegal wildlife trade issues: A global horizon scan. Conservation Letters. 2020; 13:e12715. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12715
    Published: Apr 2020 | Categories: Research Articles


    Investigating the Influence of Non-state Actors on Amendments to the CITES Appendices
    Non-state actors are playing an increasing role in global environmental governance. Elucidating the modalities and implications of this engagement is important to understanding international policy-making processes. CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, is the primary mechanism for regulating international wildlife trade. It functions by listing species in its Appendices with corresponding trade controls. Accurately listing species in the Appendices is therefore fundamental to the Convention’s effectiveness. We investigate the influence of non-state actors on amending the CITES Appendices using an established framework for assessing NGO influence in international environmental negotiations. We find that non-state actors have been successful in issue framing and agenda setting, and in influencing the position of other actors and final decisions. We also find evidence that NGOs have sought to abuse CITES in pursuit of “campaign” victories, including claiming unwarranted victories, thus undermining NGO legitimacy and accountability. We recommend that the CITES parties seek the most robust science to inform decision-making on proposed amendments to the appendices, which should be broadened to include socioeconomic and economic considerations in order that proposals are evaluated in their real-world context. We further recommend that NGOs should seek to fully understand decision-making in the Convention in order to maximise their legitimate contribution to CITES. Further research is needed to fully elucidate the influence of non-state actors in CITES.
    Daniel W. S. Challender & Douglas C. MacMillan (2019) Investigating the Influence of Non-state Actors on Amendments to the CITES Appendices, Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy, 22:2, 90-114, DOI: 10.1080/13880292.2019.1638549
    Published: Sep 2019 | Categories: Research Articles


    Illegal Wildlife Trade: Scale, Processes, and Governance
    Illegal wildlife trade (IWT) has increased in profile in recent years as a global policy issue, largely because of its association with declines in prominent internationally trafficked species. In this review, we explore the scale of IWT, associated threats to biodiversity, and appropriate responses to these threats. We discuss the historical development of IWT research and highlight the uncertainties that plague the evidence base, emphasizing the need for more systematic approaches to addressing evidence gaps in a way that minimizes the risk of unethical or counterproductive outcomes for wildlife and people. We highlight the need for evaluating interventions in order to learn, and the importance of sharing datasets and lessons learned. A more collaborative approach to linking IWT research, practice, and policy would better align public policy discourse and action with research evidence. This in turn would enable more effective policy making that contributes to reducing the threat to biodiversity that IWT represents.
    ‘t Sas-Rolfes, M., Challender, DWS., Hinsley, A., Veríssimo, D., Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2019) Illegal Wildlife Trade: Patterns, Processes and Governance. Annual Review of Environment and Resources. Annual Reviews
    Published: Aug 2019 | Categories: Research Articles


    Evaluating the feasibility of pangolin farming and its potential conservation impact (Open Access)
    Pangolins are threatened by overexploitation for local and international use. They are subject to an international commercial trade ban, and are also the focus of other interventions, including attempts at commercial captive breeding. The impact that the latter could have on the conservation of wild populations deserves consideration. We critically evaluate the feasibility of commercial captive breeding (or farming) of pangolins to displace wild collection and assess its potential conservation impact on pangolin conservation using a recently published framework developed for this purpose. Of the 17 conditions posited that need to be met for supply-side interventions to displace wild collection, we find that pangolins meet a maximum of only six conditions. This analysis suggests that pangolin farming will not displace wild collection in the near future. Major barriers include an inability to breed pangolins on a commercial scale and available data suggest that it would be unprofitable. The immediate impact of pangolin farming on conservation of the species’ is unclear, but it is unlikely to benefit the conservation of wild populations. If commercial captive breeding were possible, it is uncertain how it would affect economic incentives for poaching, interactions between legal and illegal markets, stockpile policies, and how consumers and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners would respond. To understand better the potential overall impact of pangolin farming on wild populations there is a need for further research on these uncertainties. The framework used has utility in analysing the potential impact of wildlife farming but there remains a need for a more robust approach to evaluate potential impacts of supply-side interventions.
    D.W.S. Challender, M. ‘t Sas-Rolfes, et al. (2019) Evaluating the feasibility of pangolin farming and its potential conservation impact. Global Ecology and Conservation. Vol.20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00714.
    Published: Aug 2019 | Categories: Research Articles


    Location Privacy in Conservation (Open Access)
    The growing public nature of academic journals along with current best practices of sharing primary data for scientific research are profoundly valuable for the understanding of a species and their conservation efforts. On the other hand, public spatial data on endangered species may be easily abused by wildlife criminals. In this paper, we discuss how geo-indistinguishability, a formal notion of privacy for location-based systems, can be used to add noise to published spatial data whilst allowing quantification of such tradeoff.
    Imanda, H., & Wright, J. 2019. Location Privacy in Conservation. arXiv e-prints, arXiv:1907.07054
    Published: Jul 2019 | Categories: Research Articles


    Illegal wildlife trade and the persistence of “plant blindness” (Open Access)
    This review investigates the ways in which “plant blindness,” first described by Wandersee and Schussler (1999, p. 82) as “the misguided anthropocentric ranking of plants as inferior to animals,” intersects with the contemporary boom in research and policy on illegal wildlife trade (IWT). We argue that plants have been largely ignored within this emerging conservation arena, with serious and detrimental effects for biodiversity conservation. With the exception of the illegal trade in timber, we show that plants are absent from much emerging scholarship, and receive scant attention by US and UK funding agencies often driving global efforts to address illegal wildlife trade, despite the high levels of threat many plants face. Our article concludes by discussing current challenges posed by plant blindness in IWT policy and research, but also suggests reasons for cautious optimism in addressing this critical issue for plant conservation.
    Margulies, JD, Bullough, L‐A, Hinsley, A, et al. Illegal wildlife trade and the persistence of “plant blindness”. Plants, People, Planet. 2019; 00: 1– 10. https://doi.org/10.1002/ppp3.10053
    Published: Jul 2019 | Categories: Research Articles


    Evidence to action: research to address illegal wildlife trade
    The Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade (illegalwildlifetrade.net) has launched a key research brief, Evidence to Action: Research to Address Illegal Wildlife Trade. This brief, addressed to policy makers and practitioners, outlines areas where research evidence can support effective illegal wildlife trade policy, highlights critical uncertainties where research is required, and emphasizes the need for better design and evaluation of interventions that can help improve the effectiveness of efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade. The Evidence to Action brief is the first of a new set of tools and guidance for researchers and practitioners.
    Cugniere, L., Wright, J., & Milner-Gulland, E. (2019). Evidence to action: Research to address illegal wildlife trade. Oryx, 53(3), 411-411. doi:10.1017/S0030605319000371
    Published: Jul 2019 | Categories: Research Articles


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