• Animal cytogenetics

      Houck, Marlys L.; Lear, Teri L.; Charter, Suellen J.; Arsham, Marilyn S.; Barch, Margaret J.; Lawce, Helen J. (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2017)
      Chromosome karyotyping and gene mapping has been carried out for a wide variety of animal species and continues to expand. Cross-species chromosome painting, or Zoo-FISH, for example, can now be used to identify genome segments originating from a common ancestor that have been conserved between species for millions of years....
    • Evaluating the application of scale frequency to estimate the size of pangolin scale seizures

      Ullmann, Tessa; Veríssimo, Diogo; Challender, Daniel W. S. (2019)
      All eight species of pangolin are principally threatened by overexploitation, both for international trafficking and local use. Much illegal trade involves scales, but there is an absence of robust conversion parameters for estimating the number of different pangolin species in given seizures. Such parameters are critical in order to accurately characterize pangolin trafficking and understand the magnitude and impact of exploitation on populations. In this study, we calculated the number of scales on 66 museum specimens representing all eight extant pangolin species from the genera Manis, Phataginus, and Smutsia, and developed a method for estimating the number of pangolins in given seizures of scales based on scale frequency. Our statistical analyses found significant variation in scale number in inter-species terms (ranging from 382 for Temminck's ground pangolin to 940 for the Philippine pangolin), and in intra-species terms, with substantial variation in the giant pangolin (509–664 scales) and minimal variation in the Chinese pangolin (527–581 scales). We discuss application of the developed sampling method in a real world context and critically appraise it against existing methods. The knowledge generated in this study should assist in understanding pangolin trafficking dynamics, though there remains a need for accurate conversion parameters for estimating the number of pangolins in illegal trade, especially for the Indian and African species.
    • Fund plant conservation to solve biodiversity crisis

      Roberson, Emily Brin; Frances, Anne; Havens, Kayri; Maschinski, Joyce; Meyer, Abby; Ott, Lisa; Sills, Jennifer (2020)
    • Illegal wildlife trade: Scale, processes, and governance

      Sas-Rolfes, Michael T.; Hinsley, Amy; Veríssimo, Diogo; Milner-Gulland, E. J.; Challender, Daniel W. S. (2019)
      Illegal wildlife trade (IWT) has increased in profile in recent years as a global policy issue, largely because of its association with declines in prominent internationally trafficked species. In this review, we explore the scale of IWT, associated threats to biodiversity, and appropriate responses to these threats. We discuss the historical development of IWT research and highlight the uncertainties that plague the evidence base, emphasizing the need for more systematic approaches to addressing evidence gaps in a way that minimizes the risk of unethical or counterproductive outcomes for wildlife and people. We highlight the need for evaluating interventions in order to learn, and the importance of sharing datasets and lessons learned. A more collaborative approach to linking IWT research, practice, and policy would better align public policy discourse and action with research evidence. This in turn would enable more effective policy making that contributes to reducing the threat to biodiversity that IWT represents.
    • Protected only on paper? Three case studies from protected areas in the Dominican Republic

      Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Carreras De León, R; León, YM (2016)
      ...Herein we evaluate 3 case studies from the Dominican Republic (DR), one of the most biologically diverse countries in the Caribbean. We focus on conflicts between the DR’s national protected areas system and agriculture, tourism, and the charcoal trade....
    • Trade in live reptiles, its impact on wild populations, and the role of the European market

      Auliya, Mark; Altherr, Sandra; Ariano-Sanchez, Daniel; Baard, Ernst H.; Brown, Carl; Brown, Rafe M.; Cantu, Juan-Carlos; Gentile, Gabriele; Gildenhuys, Paul; Henningheim, Evert; et al. (2016)
      …The European Union (EU) plays a major role in reptile trade. Between 2004 and 2014 (the period under study), the EU member states officially reported the import of 20,788,747 live reptiles. This review suggests that illegal trade activities involve species regulated under CITES, as well as species that are not CITES-regulated but nationally protected in their country of origin and often openly offered for sale in the EU….