Dataset of seized wildlife and their intended uses

We compiled a dataset consisting of all the species involved in the illegal wildlife trade along with the reason (i.e., use-type) they were being traded. In total, the dataset includes c. 4.9k distinct taxa representing c. 3.3k species and contains c. 11k taxa-use combinations from 110 unique use-types. Our dataset can be used to conduct large-scale broad searches of the Internet to find illegally traded wildlife.

By Oliver C. Stringham, Stephanie Moncayo, Eilish Thomas, Sarah Heinrich, Adam Toomes, Jacob Maher, Katherine G.W. Hill, Lewis Mitchell, Joshua V. Ross, Chris R. Shepherd, Phillip Cassey in Research

July 20, 2021

Abstract

The illegal wildlife trade (IWT) threatens conservation and biosecurity efforts. The Internet has greatly facilitated the trade of wildlife, and researchers have increasingly examined the Internet to uncover illegal trade. However, most efforts to locate illegal trade on the Internet are targeted to one or few taxa or products. Large-scale efforts to find illegal wildlife on the Internet (e-commerce, social media, dark web) may be facilitated by a systematic compilation of illegally traded wildlife taxa and their uses. Here, we provide such a dataset. We used seizure records from three global wildlife trade databases to compile the identity of seized taxa along with their intended usage (i.e., use-type). Our dataset includes c. 4.9k distinct taxa representing c. 3.3k species and contains c. 11k taxa-use combinations from 110 unique use-types. Further, we acquired over 45k common names for seized taxa from over 100 languages. Our dataset can be used to conduct large-scale broad searches of the Internet to find illegally traded wildlife. Further, our dataset can be filtered for more targeted searches of specific taxa or derived products.

Posted on:
July 20, 2021
Length:
1 minute read, 178 words
Categories:
Research
Tags:
wildlife trade illegal wildlife trade internet dataset
See Also:
Reptile smuggling is predicted by trends in the legal exotic pet trade
Text classification to streamline online wildlife trade analyses
Strengthening protection of endemic wildlife threatened by the international pet trade: The case of the Australian shingleback lizard