Saiga horn user characteristics, motivations, and purchasing behaviour in Singapore: Research Brief
The saiga is a Critically Endangered antelope from Central Asia. Its horn is used in traditional Chinese medicines (TCM)mainly to treat fever and heatiness (a TCM state of illness with symptoms like nasal congestion and sore throat). Poaching for saigas in the 1990’s caused a <95% population decline(Milner-Gullandet al. 2001). Poaching still persists today despite many policy efforts from range states and international bodies (CMS-CITES 2005). Saiga have also been impacted by recent mass bacterial and viral disease outbreaks (Kock et al. 2018). Singapore is recognised as a topsaiga consumer country (CITES 2018). Saiga horn is marketed most commonly as ling yang (羚羊) or antelope’s horn. Sometimes "Cornu Saiga tataricae" is listed as an ingredient. Common alternatives are barley water, chrysanthemum tea, honeysuckle, and goat’s horn.
Resulting policy brief of Doughty et al. (2019) used for the 2019 CITES Conference of the Parties. DOI: 10.31235/osf.io/sjqpu, (brief was discussed by delegates during saiga up-listing discourse)
Published: May 2020 | Categories: Research Briefs Tools and Guidance


POSITION STATEMENT: Managing Wildlife Trade in the Context of Covid-19 and Future Zoonotic Pandemics
COVID-19 is causing widespread human suffering, as the most acute global public health emergency of our generation. While the origin of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID‐19 remains uncertain, several wild species (particularly bats) are known to be important hosts for this family of zoonotic diseases. More generally, there is strong evidence that zoonotic disease emergence is linked to human activities which bring wildlife, domestic animals and humans into increasingly intense contact. This includes destruction and degradation of natural areas; intensive livestock rearing; and hunting, trade and consumption of high-risk wildlife (e.g. bats and primates). In this statement, we provide key recommandations on how to best manage wildlife trade in the context of this world crisis, the COVID-19 outbreak and future zoonotic pandemics.
Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade and Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science. 2020. Position Statement: Managing Wildlife Trade in the Context of Covid-19 and Future Zoonotic Pandemics. Tools and Guidance, Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, University of Oxford. DOI:
Published: May 2020 | Categories: Tools and Guidance


Horizon scanning for illegal wildlife trade: a strategic approach to inform future CITES policy decisions
This Briefing Document presents the results and methodology of the first horizon scan undertaken in relation to global illegal wildlife trade (IWT). Results highlighted in this document specifically support and complement CoP18 agenda items 15.1 and 20 and are extracted from a complete manuscript currently available online. The methodology presented offers a recommended approach for CITES Parties and other stakeholders to consider regularly undertaking to identify issues of relevance to their strategic decision-making concerning IWT.
Esmail, N. Harrington, L. Lam, J. Malsch, K. Milner-Gulland, E.J., Bending, Z. ‘t Sas-Rolfes, M. (2019). Horizon Scanning for Illegal Wildlife Trade: A Strategic Approach to Inform Future CITES Policy Decisions. https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/publications/cites-briefing-2019/
Published: Aug 2019 | Categories: Reports Research Briefs Tools and Guidance
CITES horizon scanning policy briefing


Asking sensitive questions in conservation using the Unmatched Count Technique
The Unmatched Count Technique (UCT), or list experiment, is an indirect questioning technique which allows answers to remain confidential and respondents to be protected. Because questions are asked in an indirect way, it is used to inquire about illegal activities or behaviours people might not want to openly admit to. The method provides an estimate of how many people within a population are performing the behaviour in question. Although using UCT will not uncover why people are performing a given behaviour, its analysis can produce results to indicate which characteristics (e.g. location, gender, age, income) of the population surveyed are more likely to affect whether a person is engaging in the behaviour. This document explores what should be considered before deciding if UCT is the most appropriate research method for your study and provides guidance on the steps that should be followed when implementing it.
Olmedo CastroA., Davis E., Hinsley A.2019. Asking sensitive questions in conservation using the Unmatched Count Technique. Tools and Guidance, Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, University of Oxford.DOI:10.31235/osf.io/rcdbk
Published: Aug 2019 | Categories: Method Toolkits Tools and Guidance


Darknet Usage in the Illegal Wildlife Trade
The darknet is a network of websites that can be accessed only via special software that hides the details of the user’s connection, and also allows websites to be hosted without revealing their location or operator. Today, large-scale darknet marketplaces exist for illegal drugs, firearms, hacking tools, stolen identity documents, and a wide variety of other illicit goods. The darknet has not, to date, proven to be a particularly attractive platform for the buying and selling of illegal wildlife products. Despite this, the darknet provides a 'marketplace of last resort' that becomes increasingly attractive over other, more accessible, online services as law enforcement and platform operators enforce policies against trading in illegal wildlife products. This makes the ongoing study of darknet markets an important avenue for research as other policies against online illegal wildlife trading emerge.
Wright J. 2019. Darknet Usage in the Illegal Wildlife Trade. Tools and Guidance, Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, University of Oxford. DOI: 10.31235/osf.io/fgr9d
Published: Feb 2019 | Categories: Research Briefs Tools and Guidance


Evidence to Action Briefing Note
Tools and expertise to improve the evidence base for national and international Illegal Wildlife Trade policy already exist but are underutilised. Tapping into these resources would produce substantive benefits for wildlife conservation and associated sectors, enabling governments to better meet their obligations under the Sustainable Development Goals and international biodiversity conventions. This can be achieved through enhanced funding support for inter-sectoral research collaborations, engaging researchers in priority setting and programme design, increasing developing country research capacity and engaging researchers and community voices in policy processes. This briefing, addressed to policy makers and practitioners, is part of the 2018 Evidence to Action: Research to Address Illegal Wildlife Trade event programme, organised by five of the UK’s most active IWT research institutions, to support the London 2018 IWT Conference.
Milner-Gulland, E.J., Cugniere, L., Hinsley, A., Phelps, J., ‘t Sas-Rolfes, M., Verissimo, D. (2018) Evidence to Action: Research to address the illegal wildlife trade. Briefing note to policy-makers and practitioners.
Published: Sep 2018 | Categories: Research Briefs Tools and Guidance


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