Investigating illegal wildlife trade: innovative approaches to inform global conservation policy

The illegal wildlife trade is arguably considered the largest illegitimate business after narcotics and is threatening the persistence of thousands of species globally. Currently, there is a global spotlight on combating illegal wildlife trade. A paucity of data on the scale and extent of the problem has thus far limited progress toward assessing the real impact illegal wildlife trade is having on biodiversity. In this project, we will address this limitation by using new data made available by project collaborators and data mined from social media platforms. Specifically, we will use this data to develop innovative analyses to expose the supply chain of the illegal wildlife trade in order to inform global conservation policy.