Forensic Exam Reflections

Use of forensic analysis in solving wildlife crimes:

Advances in forensic technology over the last decade or so has led to a significant crack down on illegal crimes committed against the natural world. Governments around the world are beginning to place high value on biodiversity and many strive to identify and protect important species and their habitats. Forensic technology is a vital tool for ensuring that those who violate wildlife protection legislation are identified and prosecuted. Years ago it would have been possible for poachers or smugglers to trade in endangered wildlife with a relatively low risk of a) getting caught and b) being prosecuted.... however, as forensic analysis becomes more sophisticated there seems to be fewer loop holes for these criminals to sneak through. The following press articles are modern day examples of wildlife criminals being caught out because the forensic evidence "gave them up":

- Kruger rhinos get high technology invisible tracking devices to up anti-poaching efforts

- Multinational operation against wildlife crime

- Yorkshire police target poachers "Operation Jumbo"

- Saudi princes caught with forged hunting permits

- Ivory smugglers caught in Bangkok

- Huge ivory haul in Ethiopia

- Hunting deer poachers

- Pesticides and bees

- Tagged golden eagle poisoned

Reading the above articles it would seem that although a greater number of wildlife criminals are caught with forensic evidence this does not seem to be deterring people from commiting the crimes in the first place. It is as simple as supply and long as there is a market for trading in endangered species there will always be someone who is prepared to take the risk. A slightly bleak perespective or are governments really take the necessary measures to prevent wildlife crime?

The following news story suggests the urgent need for international co-operation in order to prevent wildlife crime:

Endangered wildlife for sale on the internet

Links to international wildlife crime organisations: