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Using GPS-enabled decoy turtle eggs to track illegal trade

Pheasey, Helen, Roberts, David L., Rojas-Cañizales, Daniela, Mejías-Balsalobre, Carmen, Griffiths, Richard A., Williams-Guillen, Kim (2020) Using GPS-enabled decoy turtle eggs to track illegal trade. Current Biology, 30 (19). R1066-R1068. ISSN 0960-9822. (doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.08.065) (KAR id:83278)

Abstract

The insatiable human appetite for wildlife products drives species to extinction, spreads disease and has negative consequences for the economies of source countries. As a major transnational enterprise, illegal wildlife trade is valued between eight and 26.5 billion US dollars annually. Because law enforcement is often only reactive, information on trafficking routes is key to disrupting trade and curtailing wildlife crime. In our efforts to uncover trade routes of trafficked sea turtle eggs, we developed and field-tested the InvestEGGator, a 3D-printed decoy turtle egg embedded with a GPS–GSM transmitter (Supplemental Information). Illegally collected clutches of turtle eggs containing a decoy transmitter enabled us to track the movements of traffickers, and thus gain a better understanding of illegal trade routes. The decoys, set to emit a signal once an hour, provided five tracks, the most detailed of which identified an entire trade chain, covering 137 km. Using data provided by the decoys, we identified trafficking routes and on two occasions properties of potential interest to law enforcement. Decoys also yielded anecdotal information, furthering our understanding of trafficking routes.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.08.065
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biodiversity Conservation Group
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biodiversity Management Group
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: David Roberts
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2020 11:28 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2020 10:05 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/83278 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Pheasey, Helen: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9320-8334
Roberts, David L.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6788-2691
Griffiths, Richard A.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5533-1013
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