The investigation of the rare species

Share via Email This article is over 4 months old The southern corroboree frog is critically endangered, with fewer than 50 individuals recorded in the wild in More than 1, plant and animal species and ecological communities woodlands, forests and wetlands are examples of ecological communities are at risk of extinction, a number that is increasing but is also likely to be an underestimate of how many are truly vulnerable.

The investigation of the rare species

Unregulated, anonymous and unlimited, the Internet provides endless opportunities for criminal activity and transactions. Increasingly, it is the means by which the illicit trade in wildlife is conducted.

The illegal wildlife trade is having a devastating effect on animals, ecosystems, and the communities that rely on them worldwide, making it one of the major wildlife conservation challenges of our generation.

Techniques for subverting the law or avoiding detection on the Internet are continuously evolving and becoming more sophisticated, causing overwhelming challenges to law enforcement authorities.

Yet contemporary international law has fallen behind in its consideration of wildlife trade conducted via the Internet. Despite recognition by international law enforcement agencies, governments, non-governmental organizations and the general public of the challenges associated with Internet wildlife trade, some national legislation and enforcement schemes have proven insufficient in dealing with the problem.


Sincethe International Fund for Animal Welfare IFAW has investigated the Internet wildlife trade, and these studies have revealed high numbers of wildlife products exchanged on a daily basis. In a follow-up report, IFAW focused specifically on the ivory trade on eBay, and found 2, ivory items for sale on eight national eBay websites in a single week.

InIFAW undertook the largest investigation into the wildlife trade on the Internet the organization has ever attempted.

The investigation of the rare species

The results of the investigation were published in a report entitled Killing with Keystrokes: The purposes of this investigation, discussed below, were to understand the volume and geographic scope of the global Internet wildlife trade, to identify key Internet wildlife trade markets, to determine the species most affected by the trade, and to identify significant issues and trends related to the online trade in CITES-listed species.

Specifically, IFAW asked the research question: Phase I was a scoping exercise to determine the Web-based marketplaces that would be investigated and the specific search terms that would be used.

Each investigator used common search engines such as Google. Websites that would be investigated during Phase II of the investigation in each country were then identified by further surveying more than 1, websites to determine which were offering significant numbers of live animals and animal specimens from species listed on the CITES Appendices.

All of the websites chosen for further investigation were readily accessible to the public. Keyword search terms were chosen based on the internationally accepted framework of CITES-listed species, specifically those that are listed on Appendix I.

Although these species were the focus of this study, products from some Appendix-II species were also searched and recorded; other Appendix-II species that fell under the global keywords were recorded opportunistically.

The investigation of the rare species

During these surveys, in-country investigators tracked advertisements for live animals and wildlife products protected by CITES on websites around the globe. Investigators recorded a number of data points for each individual assessment including list price, shipping range, website policy, species, product type, keywords and final sale status.

An actual assessment of the legality of each product listing was beyond the scope of the investigation, so IFAW instead employed a three-tiered system of categorizing listings based on the information presented. Investigators used a conservative approach in assigning a violation category to a listing.

Overall the results show a high volume of wildlife trade conducted via the Internet, with thousands of CITES-listed specimens offered for sale on the Internet every week. Wildlife products represented The data indicated that the online wildlife trade is dominated by two categories of Appendix I species: Together, these two categories make up Trade in live exotic birds accounted for 1, listings or If indeed illegal, this may indicate major conservation and animal welfare concerns associated with the live bird trade that should be further investigated.

Investigators also found that the Internet was a conduit for a variety of other categories of protected wildlife, including primates, big cats, reptiles, sharks, rhinoceros, sturgeon and others. However, trade in these animals made up only 6.

Because very few sites confirm sales and publish the final sale price of an item, estimating an accurate overall monetary value of the Internet trade in wildlife was a substantial challenge.


Investigators recorded two monetary data points for each listing: The wide disparity between these figures has a specific source — without proof that money changed hands it is impossible to state that a sale actually occurred. Throughout this investigation, a final sale was only recorded if it could be verified, a feature only available on eBay and its subsidiaries.

Therefore, a large amount of actual commerce is likely not to be represented in the final sale total tally. Finally, although this investigation did not focus on Appendix-II species, Appendix-II specimens were recorded opportunistically. Investigators in several countries, including Australia, China and the United Kingdom, found over advertised offers.

Though these were not researched more thoroughly, they were instructive of what Appendix-II species are being traded and indicate that more research needs to be done in this area. The Appendix-II species most commonly found were: Conclusion The Internet clearly continues to facilitate significant trade in wildlife, and the unique characteristics of the global Internet marketplace make it almost impossible to determine whether the trade is occurring in compliance with or in contravention of international and domestic law governing trade in CITES-listed species.

For this reason, eBay, Inc. The rules, regulations and laws governing the trade in endangered species are complex, diverse and differ from country to country.A man has been charged for the illegal take of rare fish protected by the Endangered Species Act, bringing to a close an interagency investigation by US Park Rangers of Grand Canyon National Park, Special Agents of the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch (ISB), the Havasupai Tribe.

The FBI has joined the investigation into the theft of thousands of rare insects and reptiles from a Northeast Philadelphia museum. Species Rarity: Definition, Causes, and Classification received considerable theoretical and empirical investigation (Preston , ; Harte et aL ; Hubbell).

Understanding the mecha­ nisms leading to the pattern of few common and many rare species. INVESTIGATION REPORT ON FLORA SPECIES PRESENCE AND RARE AND THREATENED PLANT DETECTIONS [including:] Lastreopsis hispida (Bristly Shield-fern) KUARK - LARISSA LANE.

RESULTS OF A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION OF ENDANGERED SPECIES HABITAT AT THE PROPOSED SITE OF LAKE EASTEX RESERVOIR Prepared by: Melissa Parker, East Texas Conservation Scientist. “Products of endangered animals are readily available in Oregon and voters have the opportunity to vote Yes on Measure to put an end to sales of these products in our state.” Significant findings of the investigation, conducted over 10 days, include.

Doc Antle – T.I.G.E.R.S (The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) | Animal Abuse