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Tusks from savanna elephants were initially coming from

canada goose coats on sale Geneticists Are canada goose coats Hunting Poachers

canada goose black friday sale They knew the former schoolteacher was wanted in Zimbabwe for poaching rhinoceroses and selling their horns, which can command hundreds Canada Goose Online of thousands of dollars.

buy canada goose jacket He’d jumped bail and fled to northern Pretoria, but it canada goose was vexingly uk canada goose difficult to catch and Canada Goose Outlet prosecute him until a scientist helped make the case against him with rhino DNA.

canada goose clearance sale His subsequent conviction resulted from a new tactic in wildlife preservation: The canada goose store genetic fingerprinting methods that have been so successful in the criminal justice system are now being used to solve poaching crimes.

canada goose coats First, researchers in South Africa had to build a large database of genetic samples drawn from African rhinoceroses. The DNA would be used to match a carcass to a particular horn discovered on canada goose clearance sale a suspected poacher or trafficker, or to rhinoceros blood on his clothes, knives or axes.

canadian goose jacket The rangers have learned forensic crime scene principles and the importance of the so called chain of custody to ensure that the samples are not corrupted. Dr. Harper’s lab performs the analysis and stores DNA fingerprints. system used to link the DNA of suspects to evidence canada goose factory sale at a crime scene.

Canada Goose online The approach is promising, said Crawford Allan, senior director of Traffic, which monitors illegal wildlife trade at uk canada goose outlet the World Wildlife Fund.

canada goose deals A poaching scene is a crime scene, he said: „If you want to get through detection and investigation and prosecution, treat it Canada Goose Coats On Sale as a crime scene and use forensics.”

Poaching has escalated exponentially in the past decade, he noted. More than 7,000 rhinos have been killed in the past ten years. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that 20,00 to 30,000 African elephants are killed each year for their tusks.

Their tusks and horns are trafficked through Canada Goose Parka experienced criminal networks. „You really need sophisticated tools to help solve these crimes,” Mr. Allan said.

Dr. O’Brien, an expert on DNA fingerprinting and chief scientific cheap canada goose uk officer of the Theodosius Dobzhansky Center for Genome Bioinformatics at St.

Canada Goose Outlet A similar attempt to use DNA to convict poachers is led by Sam canada goose uk outlet Wasser, director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington. His group’s focus is African elephants.

Over a period of 15 years, he and his colleagues have collected and analyzed DNA from dung to create a map of the ranges of various elephant groups based on their genetic differences. It helps show where ivory seized from poachers originated.

Canada Goose Jackets The project has not linked specific carcasses to specific tusks recovered from traffickers. But the analysis has provided valuable clues about the Canada Goose sale regions in which poachers are operating.

canada goose „To our surprise, the ivory was consistently coming from two areas,” Dr. Wasser said. Tusks from savanna elephants were initially coming from southeastern Tanzania and northern Mozambique, the data showed, but the illegal trade then shifted northward to southern Kenya.

cheap Canada Goose Tusks from forest elephants originated in a small triangular area in northeast Gabon, northwest Republic of the Congo, and southeastern Cameroon.

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„Instead of focusing everywhere, if we really want the big canada goose criminals we should focus on those two spots,” Dr. Wasser said.

buy canada goose jacket cheap The sale of ivory and rhino horns is hugely lucrative. Rhino horns may bring $60,000 or more per kilogram. A horn generally weighs a few kilograms, but canada goose coats on sale a few have been as heavy as 10 kilograms, or about 22 pounds.

„Pound for pound, a rhino horn is worth more than heroin or gold or platinum,” Mr. Allan said. And prosecutions Canada Goose Jackets are so rare that the risks buy canada goose jacket for the traffickers are „very low.”

The poacher canada goose clearance sells horns to a trafficker, who disguises them and ships them to destination countries, mainly Vietnam and China. Some horns are carved into jewelry while still in South Africa, which can make it canada goose black friday sale extremely difficult to trace them.

Canada Goose sale Most horns are ground and used as medicine in Asia, believed to cure cancer, impotence or, Mr. Allan said, „you name it.” More recently, people in Asia have begun wearing beads or bangles made from rhino horns thought to have curative powers and to be status symbols. Some horns are made into ceremonial cups.

Elephant tusks currently sell for $1,000 a kilogram, Dr. Wasser said. Unlike rhino horns, which are shipped in relatively small volumes, traffickers typically collect and ship at least half a ton of ivory, or 500 kilograms, in a container.

Canada Goose Parka Some seizures have uncovered as much as seven tons of ivory in a canada goose uk shop single shipment, Dr. Wasser said. Ivory is primarily bought canada goose uk black friday by collectors or as an investment.

canada goose store Dr. Wasser’s primary target is traffickers, not poachers. Even when poachers canadian goose jacket are caught and convicted, he said, „there are 10 more waiting in line to Canada Goose online replace them.”

But traffickers form the basis of the business that cheap Canada Goose makes poaching profitable. „The analogy is, are you after a serial killer or a one time murderer?” he asked.

To catch a serial killer, Dr. Harper also hopes to disrupt the criminal networks shipping contraband in this case, rhino horns buy canada goose jacket cheap to destination countries. So far, the rhino database has been used to convict hunters and traffickers in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Swaziland.

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