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Rapid chemical odor profiling for frontline identification of illegal wildlife products

Funding or Partner Organisation: United States Agency for International Development

Start year: 2016

Summary: A major issue in the enforcement of wildlife trafficking is the lack of a rapid and accurate method to distinguish legal from illegal wildlife parts. While detector dogs are trained to alert to threatened wildlife parts they cannot provide a species-level identification. Our solution will develop a portable electronic nose that can be used by frontline personnel to rapidly identify the species part and confirm whether it is illegal on-site without the need for laboratory analysis. Rapid identification can greatly assist law enforcement to prosecute offenders, thus preventing future wildlife crimes. Determination of the species┬┐ geographic origin based on their odor `fingerprint┬┐ will also assist customs to track current trafficking routes.

Keywords: wildlife forensics, odour profiling, wildlife parts, electronic nose

FOR Codes: Forensic Chemistry, Conservation and Biodiversity, Trade Assistance and Protection, Law Enforcement, Conservation and biodiversity