Wildlife crime

A situational crime prevention perspective

Authored by: Christina Burton , Devin Cowan , William Moreto

Routledge International Handbook of Green Criminology

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138633803
eBook ISBN: 9781315207094
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315207094-3

 

Abstract

This chapter explores the potential application of situational crime prevention (SCP) measures to avert and reduce wildlife crime. It begins with overviews of wildlife crime and SCP, before turning to a review of how SCP can help thwart wildlife crime. The authors explain that whereas traditional crime prevention measures would seek to address underlying problems, such as unemployment and disorderly communities, SCP, on the other hand, targets situational characteristics of the immediate environment in an effort to reduce the potential for criminal opportunities. The authors argue that such strategies can provide an alternative to—or, at least, can accompany—approaches that rely primarily on law enforcement. Recognising that scholars of green criminology and SCP, as well as crime science and environmental criminology, have tended to work in theoretical silos, the authors of this chapter demonstrate how green criminology and SCP can be used in tandem to develop contextually appropriate strategies.

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Wildlife crime

Introduction

The study of wildlife crime from an environmental criminology and crime science perspective has generated a considerable literature in recent years (Moreto and Pires 2018). For instance, scholars have examined the utility of theft concepts, which have proven to be useful in addressing wildlife crimes, such as parrot poaching (Pires and Clarke 2012) and illegal fishing (Petrossian and Clarke 2014). Others have assessed the spatiotemporal characteristics of poaching (Moreto and Lemieux 2015b) and wildlife markets (Kurland and Pires 2017). This growing body of work has even led to the development of a conceptual framework (e.g., the CAPTURED framework, which refers to whether a wildlife product is concealable, available, processable, transferrable, useable, removable, enjoyable and desirable), in which the desirable properties of wildlife products (e.g., rhino horn) are acknowledged in determining the actors, settings and logistics required for wildlife trafficking. For example, the role of a smuggler will vary and will be influenced by whether the product being transported is alive, dead or simply part of a whole (see Moreto and Lemieux 2015a). Such research has tended to focus on the proximal and situational characteristics of wildlife crime, complementing the macro-level assessments found within green criminological perspectives. Moreover, these studies have focused largely on activities that violate the law as opposed to activities that are legal, yet potentially harmful to wildlife populations (see White 2013).

The potential application of situational crime prevention (SCP) measures to prevent and reduce wildlife crime has led researchers and scholars to argue that such strategies can provide an alternative to—or, at least, can accompany—traditional approaches, which often rely primarily on law enforcement. Prior discussions, however, have tended to assess the utility of SCP with little discussion of the potential role and value of incorporating green criminological perspectives. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the literature, highlighting the potential role that SCP has in reducing and preventing wildlife crime. We then discuss how green criminology and SCP can be used in tandem to develop contextually appropriate strategies. We begin by defining and discussing wildlife crime.

Wildlife crime

Wildlife crime has occurred for centuries and is largely influenced by its socio-political and cultural context (Hopkins 1985). Recently, the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) defined ‘wildlife crime’ as ‘acts committed contrary to national laws and regulations to protect natural resources and to administer their management and use’ (ICCWC 2017). While wildlife crime can manifest in various ways, the illegal taking of fauna and flora, often referred to as ‘poaching’ (see Moreto and Lemieux 2015b), on its own or as a precursor to wildlife trafficking (Wyatt 2013), is often at the forefront of public debate and outcry. As such, we focus our attention on these two forms of wildlife crime in this chapter.

Wildlife crime is driven by a number of different factors, including subsistence (Moreto and Lemieux 2015a, 2015b), political economy (Gibson 1999), rebellion (Muth and Bowe 1997), cultural and traditional practices (Wyatt 2013), and human–wildlife conflict (Treves and Karanth 2003). Supply and demand markets have also been acknowledged as having a considerable influence on the domestic and international trade of ‘wildlife products’. 1 While the aforementioned factors may play a role for particular wildlife crimes in specific settings, one component that is present for all types of wildlife crime is criminal opportunity (Moreto and Pires 2018). In other words, regardless of the distal or immediate factors that may motivate offenders, no crime can occur without the presence of crime opportunities. Recognising that crime opportunity is a viable driver of wildlife crime is therefore central in the understanding and development of crime-, setting- and product-specific prevention measures (Moreto and Pires 2018).

Situational Crime Prevention (SCP)

Situational crime prevention was created as a response to traditional crime prevention measures that stem primarily from a social perspective (Clarke 1980). Whereas traditional crime prevention measures would seek to address underlying problems, such as unemployment and disorderly communities, SCP, on the other hand, targets situational characteristics of the immediate environment in an effort to reduce the potential for criminal opportunities (Clarke 1980, 1983). The theoretical framework for SCP draws from four criminological perspectives (Cornish and Clarke 2003): routine activities (Cohen and Felson 1979), rational choice (Cornish and Clarke 1986), crime pattern theory (Brantingham and Brantingham 1993) and situational precipitators (Wortley 1997).

Briefly, the routine activity perspective proposes that, for a criminal event to occur, there must be the convergence, in time and space, of a motivated offender, a suitable target and a lack of capable guardianship (Cohen and Felson 1979). The rational choice perspective states that individuals decide to commit crime through a ‘bounded’ form of rational choice (Cornish and Clarke 1986). In other words, offenders have an imperfect calculus and are limited in their ability to assess fully the costs and benefits of the crime beyond the immediate circumstances. Crime pattern theory is a combination of the two previously mentioned perspectives (Brantingham and Brantingham 1993). This theory puts forth that individuals are interacting constantly with the environment, and that they occupy a series of infinite feedback loops where the individual and environment both adapt to the presence of the other (Brantingham and Brantingham 1993). Within these interactions, an individual forms an ‘awareness space’—or the cognitive understanding of geographic locations based either on our own experiences or through information exchanges with others—in which a familiarity with the environment is created (Brantingham and Brantingham 1993). These interactions and the awareness space form an individual’s crime template (Brantingham and Brantingham 1993). The crime template can be best thought of as a mental checklist that must be satisfied in order for the individual to seize a criminal opportunity (Andresen 2014). Finally, the concept of situational precipitators refers to how a situation can cause, or precipitate, certain behaviour. Wortley identifies four precipitators: prompts, pressures, permissibility and provocations (Andresen 2014). As the name implies, a ‘prompt’ would be a situational cue that induces an individual to commit a criminal act. Likewise, a situational cue that compels an individual to commit a criminal act is a ‘pressure’. ‘Permissibility’ refers to a situational cue that permits an individual to commit a certain act, and a ‘provocation’ would be a situational cue that elicits an emotional response from an individual (Andresen 2014). This theoretical background provides specific crime prevention implications: increase the effort and risk, reduce the rewards and provocations and remove excuses for committing a criminal act (Cornish and Clarke 2003).

All crimes have unique characteristics. As such, SCP promotes the idea of crime specificity (Clarke 1983). This means that when attempting to apply SCP to a crime problem, one must be cognizant of the variation and differences in the characteristics and properties of seemingly similar crimes. The reason for this is that SCP calls for varying prevention efforts depending on the type of crime. For example, the crime prevention implications for residential burglary will be different than those for commercial burglary. Simply targeting burglary, in general, will not be sufficient when the crime problem is exclusive to residential areas.

SCP has been applied and evaluated within a variety of locations and for many crime types, including crime involving medicinal and illicit marijuana production (Clare et al. 2017), crime in nightclubs (Cozens and Grieve 2014), crime in fast food and convenience stores (Exum et al. 2010) and crime in criminal organisations (Gilmour 2016; von Lampe 2011; Weenink 2012). In large part, however, SCP has been applied mostly within a traditional urban setting. For example, Clare and colleagues examined whether current licensing practices in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, adequately ensured that legal marijuana productions operated pursuant to regulations (Clare et al. 2017). From this evaluation, they found that current licensing practices did not adequately keep licensed growing operations within the code (Clare et al. 2017). The proposed SCP implications of these findings included increasing the risk of detection for individuals who are not operating up to code and removing any possible excuses for not following the law (Clare et al. 2017). Cozens and Grieve (2014) examined the situational characteristics of nightclub entrances that influence criminal activity within the nightclub itself. In this observational study, the authors questioned whether nightclub security had, in fact, taken situational crime prevention measures to an extreme. Specifically, this ‘overfortressification’ of nightclubs was theorised to have the potential to increase the stress of those experiencing these prevention measures (Cozens and Grieve 2014). Accordingly, the authors submitted that there must be a balance when controlling the various precipitators of criminal activity (Cozens and Grieve 2014). Finally, Exum and colleagues (2010) compared the SCP measures implemented by both fast food and convenience stores to identify whether there were commonalities between the two for preventing commercial robberies. Overall, they found that the operating procedures, environmental design and target hardening procedures varied between the two types of establishments. These results point to the efficacy of applying SCP by not only crime type but also by location (Exum et al. 2010).

In terms of the application to organised crime, SCP has been utilised to prevent financial crimes (Gilmour 2016; von Lampe 2011), as well as terrorism (Weenink 2012). Gilmour (2016) describes the money laundering process and proposes that efforts that are focused at the beginning stages of this process are more likely to prevent these activities from occurring. Specifically, one must increase the effort and risk necessary to launder capital successfully (Gilmour 2016). In a critique and subsequent application of SCP to terrorism, Weenink (2012) asserts that SCP simply does not address terrorism sufficiently, primarily due to a narrow organisational task scope. Past applications of SCP to terrorism, Weenink (2012) argues, have largely been reactionary, and they have ignored the investigative nature of counter-terrorism. As a solution to this issue, Weenink (2012) proposes that SCP measures for terrorism take a more proactive focus in attempting to intervene as early as possible, such as when individuals are still in the preparatory stages of offending.

SCP has been criticised for suggesting unattractive crime prevention initiatives, such as installing barbed wire fences and padlocks, and the hiring of private security (Clarke 1980). In addition, due to the assumption that all individuals have the propensity to offend given the opportunity, SCP has been criticised for its pessimistic view of human behaviour (Clarke 1980). In addition to these common criticisms of SCP, Clarke (2009) also describes seven common concerns about and misconceptions regarding SCP: (1) SCP is simplistic and atheoretical; (2) it displaces crime and makes it worse; (3) it does not address the root causes of crime; (4) it is too conservative; (5) it promotes an exclusionary society; (6) it promotes the idea of ‘Big Brother’; and (7) it blames the victim. To address a few of these misconceptions, SCP, as discussed above, is based on three criminological perspectives; therefore, it is hardly atheoretical (Clarke 2009). While SCP may not address root causes of crime, such as psychological or social influences of behaviour, it does provide society with visible reductions in criminal activity (Clarke 2009). Finally, SCP actually empowers crime victims by providing them with the knowledge of how to reduce criminal opportunity and the tangible means of doing so (Clarke 2009).

Utilising SCP to prevent wildlife crime: a review of the literature

Despite differences in terminology, conservationists’ and criminal justice researchers’ responses to the prevention of poaching share similarities. Most research on the nexus of SCP and wildlife crime has focused on the theoretical concepts of ‘hot products’ of specific animals (either as parts or the entire animal), such as in the illegal parrot trade (Pires 2015; Pires and Clarke 2012) or of wildlife in general (Petrossian et al. 2016; Pires and Moreto 2011). Other research has attempted to determine ‘hot routes’ and spatiotemporal characteristics of poaching (Kurland et al. 2017). Nevertheless, SCP offers an opportunity to use this prior research to prevent opportunities of wildlife crime. While this chapter will highlight only some of the different approaches to SCP with the current literature, Table 3.1 lists each of the 25 SCP techniques with applications to wildlife crime.

Table 3.1   Applying situational crime prevention to reduce wildlife crime

Increase the effort

Increase the risk

Reduce the rewards

Reduce provocations

Remove excuses

Target harden

Extend guardianship

Conceal targets

Reduce frustration and stress

Set rules

Increasing law enforcement activities and presence around highly coveted targets (i.e., personal ranger guards for a wild rhino).

Utilise camera traps within protected areas to increase the monitoring of wildlife, as well as to provide an opportunity to record suspects.

Conduct ‘early burnings’ away from local communities.

Implementing a compensation scheme program to reduce frustration over problem species.

Educating locals on conservation objectives, informing citizens of laws and regulations and implementing awareness campaigns can aid compliance.

Control access to facilities

Assist natural surveillance

Remove targets

Avoid disputes

Post instructions

Protected areas can increase the effort of committing wildlife crime by creating boundaries, such as different types of fencing, to limit the ease of entry and exit from a protected area by potential offenders.

Provide anonymous reporting via email or phone.

Removing readily available and valuable wildlife products (i.e., dehorning rhinos at public zoos).

Create physical barriers (i.e., digging trenches to reduce elephant–people conflict) between wildlife and adjacent communities.

Protected areas post instructions to alert locals and outsiders that species within such areas are protected and cannot be hunted.

Screen exits

Reduce anonymity

Identify property

Reduce emotional arousal

Alert conscience

X-ray fluorescence scanners to assess legality of elephant ivory.

Publicise those who have been prosecuted for wildlife crimes.

CITES documents for legally traded wildlife.

Develop and participate in community conservation programs to address concerns raised by community members.

Provide information at groceries, markets, restaurants and stores about legal and illegal wildlife products.

Deflect offenders

Utilise place managers

Disrupt markets

Neutralise peer pressure

Assist compliance

Road blockades can be used to perform random car searches on highways or roadways that are identified as wildlife trafficking routes.

Encourage safari companies to report suspicious activity.

Close down local markets that sell illegally caught bushmeat.

Utilise local leaders as a means to spread the value of conservation initiatives and reduce peer pressure.

Community-based conservation programs can increase compliance of wildlife rules by incentivising locals to abide by the rules via direct or indirect benefits.

Control tools/weapons

Strengthen formal surveillance

Deny benefits

Discourage imitation

Control drugs and alcohol

Limit the sale of tools known to be used for animal trapping (e.g., metal traps).

Using science and technology, including SMART and DNA forensics, to increase law enforcement capabilities.

Fining farmers if they are caught killing such predators and removing any compensation-based schemes.

Awareness campaigns by celebrities and other known individuals to reduce demand for illegal wildlife.

During community conservation meetings, provide information and support for alcohol and substance abuse.

SCP offers a chance to incorporate local strategies to prevent poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, rather than relying on international- or national-level policies and regulations. Even then, reliance on national-level legislation to prevent wildlife crime leads to concerns regarding implementation in specific countries, as well as depending on those countries to manage their protected areas with their already strained resources (Broussard 2017). These international policies also fail to consider that most illegal trade operates through internal markets rather than across countries (see, e.g., Pires 2015; Runhovde 2017), misattributing the problem of wildlife crime to consisting mostly of international markets. In the context of wildlife crime SCP focuses on the prevention of poaching individual species (altering motivations), and one of the most significant approaches that has been utilised to reduce poaching through a SCP framework has been the creation and maintenance of protected areas. Theoretically, the use of protected areas is intended to increase the effort to obtain specific flora and fauna, while fencing provides its own set of SCP techniques. These areas require boundaries distinguishing the general environment from a conservation area that receives legal and law enforcement attention when compared with those areas beyond the borders.

Typically, conservation has focused on the use of protected areas to address poaching, namely as a location for law enforcement to patrol and safeguard against specific threats. Though regarded as vital to conservation efforts, few studies have determined their effectiveness in reducing poaching. Theoretically, placing barriers around these monitored areas (such as fencing) increases the effort required to access specific flora and fauna. Such barriers can be subdivided into or categorised as ‘live fences’ (use of animals or plants for a boundary), ‘physical fences’ and ‘metaphysical fences’ (Kurland et al. 2017). Live fences have been shown to be useful in preventing certain herbivores from attacking local crops (Hayward and Kerley 2009). Regarding physical fencing, there are several different types, including wire and electrified fencing, with research suggesting the latter as particularly useful in preventing wildlife from crossing into farms (O’Connell-Rodwell et al. 2000). Metaphysical fences include sound and chemical repellant to discourage animals and humans from crossing the barriers, and some studies have suggested they can be quite useful for preventing damage to farms (Kurland et al. 2017). One of those studies includes research on the use of non-traditional methods of fencing to prevent elephants from damaging crops in northeast India, such as chili fencing, noise and spotlights (Davies et al. 2011). That study found that both chili and electric fencing were the strategies most likely to have a lower probability of crop damage, followed by the use of fire and spotlights (Davies et al. 2011); such alternative methods of fencing can also provide viable ways to restrict access of animals to certain areas.

These physical (and sometimes metaphorical) barriers attempt to restrict access to specific hot targets (protected animals) while also reducing the likelihood of human–animal interactions. The key to their effectiveness, however, relies on limiting the damage they can cause to the ecological frameworks in which these animals reside. Furthermore, some physical barriers (such as metal wire fences) could counteract the intended side effects by providing a source of metal for the creation of snare traps (Lindsey et al. 2011). In addition, fencing could restrict animal migration to important resources like food and water, unintentionally reducing animal populations despite initial intentions of reducing animal–human interactions (Hayward and Kerley 2009).

Another SCP technique used in addressing wildlife crime is to reduce provocations and retaliatory killings that sometimes result from human–animal interactions and events. For instance, if a particular animal damages an individual’s farm, that individual may seek revenge and target the animal to be killed. Knowledge of strategies that help reduce such provocations is limited however (beyond using different fencing and, as will be discussed shortly, incentive programs), suggesting a gap in the present literature (Kurland et al. 2017). An examination of human–felid (wild cat) conflicts by Inskip and Zimmerman (2009) suggests that research on those incidents requires more standardisation of measurements and that solutions to handling provocations need to focus on the unique situation rather than universal approaches.

Other ways of attempting to prevent illegal killing of animals include the use of community conservation programs to encourage other sources of income besides poaching. This strategy tries to reduce the impetus to pursue poaching as an income-generator while also changing the perception of animals from a single-source product to consistent income provider. One such program can be seen in Payments for Ecosystems Services—a program that focuses on giving money to local individuals who engage in conservation practices (Kurland et al. 2017). A study by Mishra and colleagues examined the impacts of an incentive program on retaliatory killings of snow leopards in India (Mishra et al. 2003); they found that the incentive program improved local support of conservation goals. Not only are individuals obtaining financial resources (reducing the benefits for poaching), but they are also involved personally in defending those protected areas (increased guardianship) and are less likely to poach (more likely to be compliant).

Legislation offers other methods for tackling wildlife crime. For example, legal sanctions can serve to remove excuses for engaging in wildlife crime, though actual enforcement of laws varies. Some jurisdictions have used fines as a sanction to reduce the rewards for poaching or illegal wildlife trade, however the effectiveness of these sanctions in deterring individuals has yet to be determined. (Some studies do attempt to explore the legal components of legislation and their impacts on wildlife crime prevention or deterrence (see, e.g., Broussard 2017).) Requiring compliance with wildlife regulations is another technique utilised in conservation efforts, and it attempts to remove excuses through known rules, as well as possibly increasing the risk for poachers through known sanctions. Part of achieving this compliance stems from interacting with the surrounding communities, increasing their awareness of laws and educating them about the purpose of conservation (Kahler and Gore 2012). Disrupting markets to reduce the rewards associated with wildlife crime and limiting access to specific areas via blockades constitute other techniques designed to increase the effort necessary for wildlife crime (Kurland et al. 2017).

While the use of sanctions to punish wildlife crime is important, so too is the incorporation of law enforcement for strengthening formal surveillance, which increases the risk of committing wildlife crime. Though literature on patrolling is beyond the scope of this chapter, it is necessary to state that increased patrolling in protected areas aids the prevention of wildlife crime by increasing the risk of capture. More patrolling from agencies has also been shown to be important for reducing poaching (Hilborn et al. 2006; Jachmann and Billiouw 1997), suggesting the importance of a law enforcement presence for formal surveillance.

Despite the above discussion on types of SCP applications to wildlife crime, there is still the possibility of displacement given these approaches. In other words, would-be poachers may select different targets if their initial efforts have been thwarted, or they may employ alternative methods of taking and killing wildlife after exposure to an intervention. As with most research on poaching and wildlife crime, the extent of the possibility of displacement is unclear due to a gap in the literature, though a meta-analysis of SCP interventions by Guerette and Bowers (2009) describes how most SCP interventions do not lead to displacement. In a case study observing the Wildlife Crimes Unit in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, researchers found that focusing on protected species through searches of vehicles at specific road blockades led to a decrease in the loss of protected species with an increase in unprotected species (Lee et al. 2005). While this does suggest displacement in the types of targeted species is possible, it does not mean that the net displacement of species exists after SCP interventions. In other words, a shift towards a different species in one location does not mean that all populations of that species in an entire country (or even region) are, collectively, targeted.

Integrating green criminological perspectives for SCP

Wildlife crime is a complex, ‘wicked problem’ (see Rittel and Webber 1973) that warrants a multi-faceted approach. The majority of discussions regarding SCP within the wildlife crime literature has tended to operate within the scope of crime science or conservation criminology. But the explicit integration of green criminological perspectives—particularly those sensitive to local cultures and viewpoints such as green cultural criminology (Brisman and South 2013, 2014)—can have a considerable and important place in guiding SCP measures (Moreto and Pires 2018). In other words, while SCP approaches are inherently crime-specific and require an in-depth assessment of the immediate setting, such approaches should be informed by the surrounding context. Indeed, long-term SCP strategies may require a better understanding of the overarching cultural, political and social factors influencing a problem and the place it occurs in order to be effective (Clarke 2004)—and ethical (Von Hirsch, Garland and Wakefield 2000). Furthermore, better contextualising crime prevention efforts may also help facilitate participatory involvement of vested local stakeholders, while also minimising unintended or harmful outcomes (Grabosky 1996). This may be especially vital for ‘soft’ strategies found within SCP, raising consciousness, assisting with compliance, and reducing frustration and stress (Moreto and Pires 2018; Pires and Moreto 2011). As such, scholars and policymakers who are interested in engaging in such applied research are recommended to put in the necessary time and effort to first appreciate and understand the context—cultural, ecological, political or otherwise—prior to the development of prevention strategies.

Integrating green criminology and SCP, as well as crime science and environmental criminology, should be viewed as a welcomed development. These perspectives—and the scholars who adhere to and promote such approaches—have tended to work in theoretical silos (Moreto 2018). Collaboration, however, has considerable benefits. In particular, the strengths of each approach can be heightened, while their respective limitations can be reduced (Brisman and South 2018; Brisman and South 2015; White 2018). In essence, far more can be gained in identifying areas for partnership as opposed to remaining in isolation (Moreto 2018). To encourage such collaboration, we argue that emphasis should be placed on the topic of interest as opposed to philosophical or theoretical orientation. Indeed, recent collaborations between environmental criminologists and green criminologists have demonstrated the products that can arise from such efforts (i.e., van Uhm and Moreto’s (2018) recent study on the illegal wildlife trade and corruption is one example).

Summary

This chapter has described the potential role of SCP in preventing wildlife crime and has offered a guide for how to better situate SCP techniques within the broader and immediate context. Several key points have been presented. First, evidence suggests that SCP offers a viable strategy in the fight against wildlife crime. Because the SCP approach is inherently crime- and context-specific, these techniques provide local communities with the ability to address poaching within their area in a manner tailored specifically to the problem. In addition, and as described earlier in the chapter, the variety of approaches, from chemical repellants (Davies et al. 2011) on fencing to income-generating community programs (Kurland et al. 2017), allow for different solutions for different communities for a similar problem.

Second, proper implementation of SCP techniques requires the input from multiple stakeholders (Kurland et al. 2017), including the community, wildlife law enforcement and conservation biologists. Cooperation with community members and wildlife law enforcement is necessary not only for compliance with the former, but also for information gathering from informants about likely poachers. Conservation biologists are also vital for wildlife crime prevention because they are able to determine the overall health of an ecosystem and provide information on population numbers within those ecosystems.

Third, there are still plenty of gaps within the literature that should be explored to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the issue of wildlife crime and the outcomes that come from SCP approaches. While some of the techniques have been given extensive coverage, it is unclear which techniques yield greater reductions in wildlife crime than others in specific contexts or if there are certain effects that require multiple interventions at the same time. Furthermore, evaluations of interventions need to be conducted because it is important to ensure the program is producing the desired outcomes (Kurland et al. 2017; Moreto and Pires 2018). Programs that require or otherwise impose a significant cost to the surrounding communities could affect not only the implementation of the intervention or prevention technique, but also create undesirable effects associated with the intervention (such as creating wire snares from wire fencing). These deficits in research should, however, be seen as opportunities for future collaborations between practitioners and academics to create innovative and effective strategies for preventing, and ultimately reducing, wildlife crime.

Finally, SCP techniques will benefit from a better understanding of broader factors. Such knowledge will not necessarily be geared towards attempting to solve problems that extend beyond the capabilities of SCP (e.g., poverty), but could nevertheless provide valuable information that helps to contextualise and inform interventions and strategies. Recognising that SCP techniques require local input that sheds light on unique political, social and cultural circumstances may prove beneficial in avoiding ineffective, counterproductive or harmful results for both the targeted wildlife and surrounding communities.

Note

For the purposes of this chapter—and following Moreto and Lemieux (2015a)—we use the term “wildlife products” to refer to products made from wildlife for the purpose of clothing, food, medicine, etc.

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