Special Issue "Wildlife Crime: Issues and Promising Solutions"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Stephen F. Pires
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Criminal Justice, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA
Interests: situational crime prevention; crime mapping; conservation criminology; wildlife crime
Dr. George Olah
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Interests: forensic genetics; conservation biology; wildlife trade; conservation genomics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The poaching of wildlife for profit, pleasure, subsistence, or as a result of human–animal conflict has decimated wildlife populations—particularly those of at-risk species. Given the ease of poaching wildlife throughout the world and the significant demand for specific species and their derivatives, wildlife trafficking is among the most profitable illicit transnational industries (Moreto and Pires, 2018). Seizure and government reports have shown a steady increase in wildlife trafficking, and many of the most endangered species continue to experience population declines. Despite technological advancements to detect and prevent poaching and trafficking, current approaches to curb the trade have had limited success and are not working. This Special Issue on “Wildlife Crime: Issues and Promising Solutions” has a broad objective of soliciting empirical research on the nature of the illegal wildlife trade; novel solutions to track, prove, and prevent wildlife crime; and evaluative research on enacted legislation or interventions that have the potential to be replicated in other contexts. Altogether, this volume of work is an effort to significantly contribute to our understanding of how the illicit trade operates and provide viable solutions to mitigate threats to protected wildlife.

Dr. Stephen F. Pires
Dr. George Olah
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • poaching
  • wildlife crime
  • wildlife trafficking
  • illegal wildlife trade
  • human-animal conflict
  • rangers
  • protected areas
  • forensic genetics
  • tracking animal trade
  • online trade of wildlife

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Combination of Multiple Microsatellite Analysis and Genome-Wide SNP Genotyping Helps to Solve Wildlife Crime: A Case Study of Poaching of a Caucasian tur (Capra caucasica) in Russian Mountain National Park
Animals 2021, 11(12), 3416; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123416 - 30 Nov 2021
Viewed by 177
Abstract
Poaching is one of the major types of wildlife crime in Russia. Remnants of goats (presumably the wild endemic species, the Caucasian tur) were found in an area of the Caucasian mountains. The case study involves a suspected poacher whose vehicle was found [...] Read more.
Poaching is one of the major types of wildlife crime in Russia. Remnants of goats (presumably the wild endemic species, the Caucasian tur) were found in an area of the Caucasian mountains. The case study involves a suspected poacher whose vehicle was found to have two duffel bags containing pieces of a carcass, which he claimed was that of a goat from his flock. The aim of the forensic genetic analysis for this case was to (i) establish individual identity and (ii) perform species identification. DNA typing based on fourteen microsatellites revealed that STR-genotypes generated from pieces of evidence found at crime scene fully matched those obtained from the evidence seized from the suspect. The results of genome-wide SNP-genotyping, using Illumina Goat SNP50 BeadChip, provided evidence that the poached animal was a wild Caucasian tur (Capra caucasica). Thus, based on comprehensive molecular genetic analysis, evidence of poaching was obtained and sent to local authorities. To our knowledge, this case study is the first to attempt to use DNA chips in wildlife forensics of ungulates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Crime: Issues and Promising Solutions)
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Article
When Human–Wildlife Conflict Turns Deadly: Comparing the Situational Factors That Drive Retaliatory Leopard Killings in South Africa
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3281; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113281 - 16 Nov 2021
Viewed by 357
Abstract
Retaliatory killings caused by human-wildlife conflict have a significant impact on the survival of leopards. This study explores the reasons for retaliatory killings of leopards by interviewing community members in a small village in South Africa that experienced high incidences of human–leopard conflict. [...] Read more.
Retaliatory killings caused by human-wildlife conflict have a significant impact on the survival of leopards. This study explores the reasons for retaliatory killings of leopards by interviewing community members in a small village in South Africa that experienced high incidences of human–leopard conflict. The semi-structured interviews focused on the reasons why retaliatory leopard killings occurred and how to best mitigate the situational factors that triggered these killings. Respondents cited four main problems that fueled these killings: the government’s response to human–leopard conflict was slow and unwilling; this response involved inefficient methods; there were inadequate resources to respond to these killings; and there was a clear lack of laws or their application. Local stakeholders provided a range of innovative strategies to reduce human-leopard conflict and retaliatory killings. While all parties expressed different reasons why these solutions were or were not effective, their conclusions were often similar. The distrust that existed between the parties prevented them from recognizing or accepting their common ground. Based on existing human–wildlife conflict mitigation techniques and solutions identified by local stakeholders, this article explores how criminological techniques, including situational crime prevention, can help identify and frame effective interventions to reduce the number of illegal leopard killings driven by human-wildlife conflict. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Crime: Issues and Promising Solutions)
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