Building a global taxonomy of wildlife offenses

Pascual, M. and Wingard, J. and Bhatri, N. and Rydannykh, A. and Phelps, J. (2021) Building a global taxonomy of wildlife offenses. Conservation Biology. ISSN 0888-8892

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Abstract

Most countries have many pieces of legislation that govern biodiversity, including a range of criminal, administrative, and civil law provisions that state how wildlife must be legally used, managed, and protected. However, related debates in conservation, such as about enforcement, often overlook the details within national legislation that define which specific acts are illegal, the conditions under which laws apply, and how they are sanctioned. Based on a review of 90 wildlife laws in 8 high-biodiversity countries with different legal systems, we developed a taxonomy that describes all types of wildlife offenses in those countries. The 511 offenses are organized into a hierarchical taxonomy that scholars and practitioners can use to help conduct legal analyses. This is significant amidst competing calls to strengthen, deregulate, and reform wildlife legislation, particularly in response to fears over zoonotic threats and large-scale biodiversity loss. It can be used to provide more nuance legal analyses and facilitate like-for-like comparisons across countries, informing processes to redraft conservation laws, review deregulation efforts, close loopholes, and harmonize legislation across jurisdictions. We applied the taxonomy in a comparison of sanctions in 8 countries for hunting a protected species. We found not only huge ranges in fines (US$0 to $200,000) and imprisonment terms (1.5 years to life imprisonment), but also fundamentally different approaches to designing sanctions for wildlife offenses. The taxonomy also illustrates how future legal taxonomies can be developed for other environmental issues (e.g., invasive species, protected areas). © 2021 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Conservation Biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2309
Subjects:
ID Code:
157202
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
21 Jul 2021 14:40
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
13 Oct 2021 04:24