SNAPP TEAM:Deterring Wildlife Crime
Do deterrence strategies work to prevent wildlife trafficking?

The illegal trade in wildlife threatens the survival of individual species, removes resources from vulnerable peoples, and undermines the rule of law of nation-states. Current approaches to counter wildlife trafficking rely heavily on traditional law enforcement deterrence strategies that focus on punishing offenders. Despite this favored approach, there is limited evidence assessing the effectiveness of such strategies with metrics commonly related to rates of arrest or convictions rather than the actual effectiveness of these in reducing wildlife crime. 

OUR APPROACH: The study of wildlife trafficking has traditionally been undertaken by conservation scientists, ecologists, and natural resource managers concerned with impacts on  conservation. Social scientists have also begun to examine wildlife crime through a social lens. These disparate specialist fields rarely work together, resulting in an absence of context. 

This working group brings together conservation scientists, social scientists, crime scientists, and practitioners from both government, inter-government, and non-government organizations for the assessment of wildlife trafficking case studies. The group will apply a mixed-methods approach to systematically review available empirical research and relevant materials. Applying a multi-disciplinary lens will add significant value to the assessment process in determining the potential for different deterrence strategies in stemming wildlife trafficking.

Team Status: NEW
Team Critical Challenge: Social Innovations
  • Use findings and results of data analysis to create lessons and recommendations to inform counter-wildlife trafficking practitioners. 
  • Increase the number of collaborations between practitioners (Government and NGO) and criminologists that are applying crime science and criminology methods on the development and monitoring of counter wildlife trafficking strategies and interventions. 
  • Disseminate findings and lessons learned through the creation of an interactive website for practitioners and the development of a special topics course at John Jay College through the International Crime and Justice Master of Arts Program.
Gohar A. Petrossian
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
Damian Weekers
Wildlife Conservation Society
Andre Costa
Brazil Federal Police
Charles A. Emogor
University of Cambridge
Hoang Hai Yen
Hanoi Procuratorate University
Abim Isafiade
Nigeria Customs Service
Andrew Lemieux
Lead Ranger
Rob Pickles
Stephen Pires
Florida International University
Andrea Pizzarro
Scott Roberton
Wildlife Conservation Society
Hai Thanh Luong
The University of Queensland
Julie Viollaz
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Simon Wankyo
Tanzanian Government
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