Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51156. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051156. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

Digital surveillance: a novel approach to monitoring the illegal wildlife trade.

Author information

  • 1HealthMap, Children's Hospital Informatics Program, Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Abstract

A dearth of information obscures the true scale of the global illegal trade in wildlife. Herein, we introduce an automated web crawling surveillance system developed to monitor reports on illegally traded wildlife. A resource for enforcement officials as well as the general public, the freely available website, http://www.healthmap.org/wildlifetrade, provides a customizable visualization of worldwide reports on interceptions of illegally traded wildlife and wildlife products. From August 1, 2010 to July 31, 2011, publicly available English language illegal wildlife trade reports from official and unofficial sources were collected and categorized by location and species involved. During this interval, 858 illegal wildlife trade reports were collected from 89 countries. Countries with the highest number of reports included India (n = 146, 15.6%), the United States (n = 143, 15.3%), South Africa (n = 75, 8.0%), China (n = 41, 4.4%), and Vietnam (n = 37, 4.0%). Species reported as traded or poached included elephants (n = 107, 12.5%), rhinoceros (n = 103, 12.0%), tigers (n = 68, 7.9%), leopards (n = 54, 6.3%), and pangolins (n = 45, 5.2%). The use of unofficial data sources, such as online news sites and social networks, to collect information on international wildlife trade augments traditional approaches drawing on official reporting and presents a novel source of intelligence with which to monitor and collect news in support of enforcement against this threat to wildlife conservation worldwide.

PMID:
23236444
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3517447
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk