• An updated analysis of the consumption of tiger products in urban Vietnam

      Davis, Elizabeth Oneita; Willemsen, Madelon; Dang, Vinh; O’Connor, David; Glikman, Jenny A. (2020)
      Tigers are indisputably in danger of extinction due to habitat loss and demand for their parts. Tigers are extirpated in the wild from every country bar one in mainland East and Southeast Asia. Although consumption of tiger products is known to be established in China, less is known about demand for tiger products in Southeast Asia. In this study, we investigate tiger product demand in Vietnam, a major illegal wildlife consumer country. There has been little research into consumption, in particular the level of use, the products being consumed, variation in use of products between areas, and the motivations of consuming tiger products. Through a quantitative survey of 1120 individuals, we show that use of tiger products could be as high as ~11% of the sample in both urban centers of Vietnam, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Tiger bone glue is the predominant product used, for medicinal purposes. In Hanoi, it is generally purchased by the individual for self-use, while in Ho Chi Minh City it is generally purchased as a gift. In both cities, individuals were generally highly satisfied with the product, indicating entrenched belief in efficacy among consumers. Ultimately, our results show that tiger product use is relatively pervasive. We suggest that conservation organizations should focus on behavior change campaigns that are informed by the results here, and that are specific to each area and to the specific use of tiger product glue for medicine. By reducing demand, beleaguered tiger populations will have a greater chance of stabilization and eventual growth.
    • Bears within the human landscape: Cultural and demographic factors influencing the use of bear parts in Cambodia and Laos

      Davis, Elizabeth Oneita; Glikman, Jenny A.; Nevin, Owen; Convery, Ian; Davis, Peter (BoydellNewcastle, UK, 2019)
      Bears in Southeast Asia are declining across their range, primarily due to demand for their products, compounded by habitat loss. Although this decline has been observed in Cambodia and Laos, little research had been performed into in-country demand for bear products....
    • Characterizing efforts to reduce consumer demand for wildlife products

      Veríssimo, Diogo; Wan, Anita K. Y. (2019)
      The unsustainable trade in wildlife is a key threat to Earth's biodiversity. Efforts to mitigate this threat have traditionally focused on regulation and enforcement, and there is a growing interest in campaigns to reduce consumer demand for wildlife products....
    • Devastating decline of forest elephants in Central Africa

      Maisels, F.; Strindberg, S.; Blake, S.; Wittemyer, G.; Hart, J.; Williamson, E. A.; Aba'a, R.; Abitsi, G.; Ambahe, R. D.; Amsini, F.; et al. (2013)
      African forest elephants-taxonomically and functionally unique-are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of fieldwork) revealed that population size declined by ca. 62% between 2002-2011, and the taxon lost 30% of its geographical range. The population is now less than 10% of its potential size, occupying less than 25% of its potential range. High human population density, hunting intensity, absence of law enforcement, poor governance, and proximity to expanding infrastructure are the strongest predictors of decline. To save the remaining African forest elephants, illegal poaching for ivory and encroachment into core elephant habitat must be stopped. In addition, the international demand for ivory, which fuels illegal trade, must be dramatically reduced.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Jaguar persecution without “cowflict”: Insights from protected territories in the Bolivian Amazon

      Knox, Jillian; Negrões, Nuno; Marchini, Silvio; Barboza, Kathrin; Guanacoma, Gladys; Balhau, Patricia; Tobler, Mathias W.; Glikman, Jenny A. (2019)
      Persecution by humans is one of the most pressing threats to jaguars (Panthera onca) throughout the Americas, yet few studies have examined the killing of jaguars outside cattle-ranching communities. Although over one-third of the jaguar’s range is formally protected, relatively little is known about human-jaguar relationships within protected areas and indigenous territories. Protected land within the Bolivian Amazon, considered a stronghold for the jaguar, contains communities who differ economically, legally, and socially from previously-studied human populations living with jaguars. Using in-person structured interviews, we investigated attitudes and norms related to jaguars and jaguar killing, self-reported past killing of jaguars, and demographic variables in two protected areas and an indigenous territory: Integrated Management Area of Santa Rosa del Abuná (Santa Rosa, n=224), Indigenous Territory Tacana II (n=137), and Manuripi National Amazon Wildlife Reserve (MNAWR, n=169). Overall, people disliked (48.9%) or felt neutral (26.8%) toward jaguars. A relatively large number of people reported either being attacked or knowing someone who had been attacked by a jaguar: 15.45% in Santa Rosa, 14.20% in MNAWR, and 30.88% in Tacana II. Many respondents stated to have killed a jaguar, although the proportion differed among study areas: 20.39% of Santa Rosa, 55.47% of Tacana II, and 32.72% of MNAWR. People perceived jaguar persecution as relatively common: 44.9% of Santa Rosa, 90.8% of Tacana II, and 65.8% of MNAWR said their neighbors kill jaguars (i.e. descriptive norm). Also, 75.4% of Santa Rosa, 89.1% of Tacana II, and 69.1% of MNAWR said that some of their family members and neighbors thought jaguar killing was good (i.e. subjective norm). Descriptive and subjective norms positively influenced both attitudes toward killing and past killing of jaguars. This perception of jaguar killing being common and socially-accepted, combined with high rates of past killing and a growing illegal trade of jaguar parts, may create an atmosphere conducive to widespread jaguar persecution in the Bolivian Amazon. We recommend management strategies that focus on preventing jaguar depredation of small domestic animals, lessening the perception of carnivore encounters as dangerous to decrease safety-related fears, and making large carnivore killing socially unacceptable (e.g. through social marketing).
    • 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….
    • Uncover the unrevealed data: the magnitude of Javan leopard removal from the wild

      Adhiasto, D.N.; Wilianto, E.; Wibisono, Hariyo Tabah (2020)
    • Understanding the prevalence of bear part consumption in Cambodia: A comparison of specialised questioning techniques

      Davis, Elizabeth Oneita; Crudge, Brian; Lim, Thona; O'Connor, David; Roth, Vichet; Hunt, Matt; Glikman, Jenny A. (2019)
      The trade in bear parts for medicine and for status is a conservation challenge throughout Asia. The Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) are endemic to this region, and populations are estimated to have declined throughout their ranges due to widespread illegal killing of bears and trade in parts, combined with loss of habitat. Previous studies have indicated that legislation alone is insufficient to prevent illegal hunting and trade, indicating instead a need to address demand for bear parts and products. We conducted mixed-method surveys in Cambodia to understand the key motivators for individuals to consume bear parts, and to understand whether specialised questioning techniques are applicable in this context. Bear part use is illegal in Cambodia and may therefore be considered a sensitive behaviour, in that individuals may be reluctant to admit to it. To counteract possible biases, four specialised questioning techniques were used in this study: randomised response technique (RRT), unmatched count technique (UCT), nominative technique (NT), and false consensus bias (FCB). All four methods serve to shield a respondent’s admittance of a sensitive behaviour from the interviewer. The results presented here show that great variability exists in anonymous methods’ efficacy in certain contexts. However, the results overall indicate that individuals in Cambodia are under-reporting their consumption of bear parts when directly asked, and that the prevalence of bear part use in Cambodia may be as high as 15% of the population, representing a significant conservation challenge.